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  • To add to the above, Trevor:

    I think your thread has been a good one with some pertinent points raised, and I for one agree with you that 1.35am to 1.44am would not have been sufficient time given everything that was involved.

    It doesn't automatically follow that the organs were removed at the mortuary, however.

    In the spirit of the OP, I think it now needs to be shown that there were people at the mortuary capable of removing the organs and what level of experience we are talking (see the points raised in my post above).

    I don't think it's sufficient to say there was a thriving trade in illegal body parts. I think it needs to be shown that reasonably there will have been a person or people at both mortuaries who had the experience to do this.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

      A body was a means to make money to those people who traded in bodies and organs from any source including mortuaries. Female bodies and body parts were sought after, so if mortuary attendants were involved they would be in a position to know that the post mortems had not yet been carried out and that no "prelimenary examinations " of the body had been carried out and so in the case of Chapman and Eddowes having regard to the fact that their abdomens had been ripped open ,it would have been easy for their organs to be removed so that when the actual official post mortem was carried out the missing organs would be attributed to the killer which in my opinion is exaclty what happened.

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
      But we have to take notice of the specific circumstances. We know three things, that Eddowes abdomen was torn open like Chapman’s, that these were a part of a high profile series of murders and so they would have come under greater police/medical scrutiny than your average corpse and that Doctor’s saw the body not only in Mitre Square but also in the mortuary. Therefore why would someone steal an organ like the uterus which there was a very real possibility that the doctors might have seen that it was in place before the PM? If it suddenly ‘disappeared’ then heads would have rolled and that particular avenue of profit would have been cut off. (You also haven’t answered my question about the uterus - was there a sale in damaged organs too?) Why would our thief have hacked out the uterus leaving a piece still inside the body if he was doing it in the mortuary?

      The normal procedure would have to have been to either have taken the whole body (which we also know occurred and was probably what occurred most of the time) or to have taken body parts post PM (for very obvious reasons) Post PM is also the time when all interest in the body (and all scrutiny) came to an end.

      So why would body part stealers have acted differently in the cases of Chapman and Eddowes? You claim it was because the abdomen’s had been opened but the abdomen’s would have been opened after the PM and all they would have had to have done was to cut open a few stitches which they were easily capable of if they could remove organs. Where they so desperate for a kidney and a damaged uterus that they couldn’t wait until the PM was over? That they would risk a Police Officer showing up to view the body for some reason? Or a Doctor seeing that the uterus was missing at the PM despite him seeing it in place earlier? All for the sake of waiting a very few hours?

      It simply doesn’t make sense Trevor. Whichever way you look at it. It just doesn’t.
      Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 09-24-2022, 08:44 AM.
      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 Fleetwood Mac View Post
        To add to the above, Trevor:

        I think your thread has been a good one with some pertinent points raised, and I for one agree with you that 1.35am to 1.44am would not have been sufficient time given everything that was involved.

        It doesn't automatically follow that the organs were removed at the mortuary, however.

        In the spirit of the OP, I think it now needs to be shown that there were people at the mortuary capable of removing the organs and what level of experience we are talking (see the points raised in my post above).

        I don't think it's sufficient to say there was a thriving trade in illegal body parts. I think it needs to be shown that reasonably there will have been a person or people at both mortuaries who had the experience to do this.
        But why do you disagree with the experts who did think it possible?
        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 Al Bundy's Eyes View Post

          Thanks for the extract George.

          I was thinking myself, wouldn't the smart line of illegal body parts be anonymous paupers? Natural deaths, bodies just going through the system without anyone giving them much thought? Why chose bodies that have doctors and police all over them?
          And that’s the point Al. There was no shortage of corpses, why choose ones that the police and doctors were all over? Why take organs before the PM when, with the open abdomen, the Doctor might have seen that the uterus was still in place? Why not wait until the PM was done when all interest in the body would have ended and they’d have had a clear run?

          And why would a stealer of body parts, intending to sell it for medical reasons, have hacked out the uterus leaving a chunk still inside the body?
          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 Trevor Marriott View Post

            I suggest you read one of Professor Hurrens books on the activites of body and organ dealers in Whitechapel in 1888 there you will find many examples of corrupt mortuary attendants and the illict trade in bodies and organs from mortuaries.

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk
            Trevor,

            I have just read this article from Professor Hurren:

            Dissecting Jack-the-Ripper : An Anatomy of Murder in the Metropolis (openedition.org)

            Professor Hurren demonstrates that there was a thriving illegal trade in bodies in East London at that time.

            Among all of her research/primary source documents, I can't find any reference to organs being removed at a mortuary, however. 'Plenty of talk of limbs, but not organs.

            As said, I think it needs to be demonstrated that the illegal trade in bodies included the removal of organs at a mortuary. According to Prosector, whoever did this was well versed/experienced in such operations and there weren't many of them around, even among surgeons 'only Dr Phillips had the slightest idea of what was involved'.

            Who at the mortuaries would have had the necessary experience to do this and are there any source documents which demonstrate that organs were removed at the mortuary as part of the clandestine trade in body parts?

            Comment


            • I realise that these ‘summing’s up’ don’t go down well but I’ll do one anyway because I think it’s important to look at the whole picture rather that squabbling over times that none of us can quote or assess with any great accuracy.

              1.No one that was there at the time, no Doctor’s, no Police Officer’s and Press appear to express any doubt that the killer didn’t take these organs.

              2. We have no specific examples of organ theft at the Golden Lane mortuary which was a modern, purpose-built building. We also have mention of a Police Officer being left in charge at the mortuary of 2 other victims.

              3. Is it a coincidence that of the three victims where the killer couldn’t have been interrupted, organs were missing. Remember those in the ‘series?’ Smith - murdered by a gang, Tabram - stabbed but not cut open, Nichols - if Lechmere heard Paul approach then the killer could have heard Lechmere approach causing him to flee, Chapman - no interruption and organs missing, Stride - either not a victim or the killer was interrupted, Eddowes - no interruption, organs missing, Kelly - no interruption the heart missing, Mackenzie, a disputed victim - no organs missing, Coles, disputed victim, killer disturbed by PC Thompson - no organs missing. So of these 9, the 3 that couldn’t have been interrupted and were certainly victims all had organs missing. What are the chances of that being a coincidence?

              4. Why would the killer have taken the huge risk of taking the organs before the post mortem when this high profile victim had come under such scrutiny and whose opened abdomen would have allowed a Doctor an easy check on her organs to compare her to Chapman?

              5. Why would someone looking to sell a uterus for medical purposes have hacked it out, leaving a piece still in the body, when he would have been doing it on a table in a lit mortuary?

              6. We have differing opinions on how long the killer would have required but from what we have (medical people from then and now) it appears that more say that it could have been done than say that it couldn’t.

              7. We have differing opinions on how much time the killer had available. This is something that we can’t tie down with any minute accuracy although clearly there is going to be no great divergence. All that we need to know though is that the killer might very easily have had 10 minutes. We simply cannot disprove this with unassailable facts. So any decision by medical men would have to have been based on the killer having 10 minutes to do what he’d done.


              So to sum up we have a theory based on 2 unknown times and the fact that a trade in body parts existed at the time. It cannot be claimed that something definitely didn’t happen based on such unknowns. The evidence therefore, when viewed as a whole, tells us that the killer took the organs.
              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 Fleetwood Mac View Post

                Trevor,

                Would it have been easy to remove the organs though?

                Prosector's posts are being used to support the notion that it is highly unlikely this was all done in 9 minutes.

                In the interests of balance, Prosector said this also:

                The big thing that everyone overlooks in this debate is that in 1888 abdominal surgery was virtually unknown. Sir Frederick Treves performed the first successful appendicectomy in Britain in its present sense in 1887 (and the appendix is very near the surface and therefore relatively easy to get at). Very few surgeons had ever ventured into the depths of the abdomen in 1888 except in a limited way during dissection as medical students (bodies were very difficult to come by - most students only got (and still only get) one body to dissect in their entire career, shared with several others.

                To me and to other surgeons that I have discussed it with like Professor Harold Ellis, it is absolutely staggering that he did what he did to Chapman and Eddowes in such a short time - or at all.

                In my view the only one who had the slightest idea of what was involved was Bagster Philips.


                Prosector appears to be saying that among surgeons, the removal of these organs was pretty much an unknown and Dr Phillips alone had 'the slightest idea of what was involved'. Note also that Prosector states: it is absolutely staggering that he did what he did to Chapman and Eddowes in such a short time - or at all.

                I think it's fair to say Prosector believes that any old mortuary assistant would not have been capable of doing this.

                It's fair to say Prosector leads us to believe that it couldn't have been someone who just came along and took advantage of Catherine's and Annie's open abdomen as they wouldn't have had the necessary experience, i.e. assuming this is an illegal trade in organs, then the person who did this must have done it several times before.

                In practice, do we see much of this type of activity in the East End at that time?
                I would imagine that those persons dircetly involved in the trade in organs would have had sufficient medical knowledge to be able to remove organs abelit at times in hast and damaging the organs in the removal process. I dont believe many mortuary attendants would have had that knowledge or skill. but if mortuary attendants were involev with others who knows what went on behind the doors of the mortuary there would have been lots of dead bodies to practice on

                If you read Elizabeth Hurrens books you will see it was rife

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                  If you read Elizabeth Hurrens books you will see it was rife

                  www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                  I have read this article from Professor Hurren:

                  Dissecting Jack-the-Ripper : An Anatomy of Murder in the Metropolis (openedition.org)

                  Professor Hurren demonstrates that there was a thriving illegal trade in bodies in East London at that time.

                  Among all of her research/primary source documents, I can't find any reference to organs being removed at a mortuary, however. 'Plenty of talk of limbs, but not organs.

                  As said, I think it needs to be demonstrated that the illegal trade in bodies included the removal of organs at a mortuary. According to Prosector, whoever did this was well versed/experienced in such operations and there weren't many of them around, even among surgeons 'only Dr Phillips had the slightest idea of what was involved'.

                  Who at the mortuaries would have had the necessary experience to do this and are there any source documents which demonstrate that organs were removed at the mortuary as part of the clandestine trade in body parts?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                    Good thread, Trevor. 'Some interesting points made.

                    I for one agree with you that this whole scenario is unlikely to have happened between 1.35am and 1.44am. The weight of evidence supports this sentiment.

                    I have another question.

                    Prosector stated this:

                    The big thing that everyone overlooks in this debate is that in 1888 abdominal surgery was virtually unknown. Sir Frederick Treves performed the first successful appendicectomy in Britain in its present sense in 1887 (and the appendix is very near the surface and therefore relatively easy to get at). Very few surgeons had ever ventured into the depths of the abdomen in 1888 except in a limited way during dissection as medical students (bodies were very difficult to come by - most students only got (and still only get) one body to dissect in their entire career, shared with several others. I am certain that I could not have done any better, kneeling on the ground, in the dark with a 7 inch knife as my only instrument and no assistants to retract the abdominal flaps and contents. To me and to other surgeons that I have discussed it with like Professor Harold Ellis, it is absolutely staggering that he did what he did to Chapman and Eddowes in such a short time - or at all.

                    Let's assume the organs were removed at the mortuary.

                    As per the aforementioned quote from Prosector, in 1888 there were few surgeons who had ever 'ventured into the depths of the abdomen'. As part of their medical training most would have had the luxury of one body only (clearly this could have been long before the 'Autumn of Terror' and it follows the significance of that experience is rendered of lesser importance). Prosector goes on to make the point that having an assistant to 'retract the abdominal flaps and contents' facilitates this procedure. In other words, in the event someone at the mortuary removed the organs, then at least some of the same obstacles remain (depending upon level of experience) as those at Mitre Square.

                    The question is:

                    Who, among those at the mortuary, had the necessary experience to do this and how many people were involved? (when I say who, I don't mean a name but rather what level of experience).
                    The quote from Prosector is intersting and I refer to the last line

                    "To me and to other surgeons that I have discussed it with like Professor Harold Ellis, it is absolutely staggering that he did what he did to Chapman and Eddowes in such a short time - or at all.

                    By that comment I take that to suggest that the killer did not remove the organs at the crime scene !

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                      I have read this article from Professor Hurren:

                      Dissecting Jack-the-Ripper : An Anatomy of Murder in the Metropolis (openedition.org)

                      Professor Hurren demonstrates that there was a thriving illegal trade in bodies in East London at that time.

                      Among all of her research/primary source documents, I can't find any reference to organs being removed at a mortuary, however. 'Plenty of talk of limbs, but not organs.

                      As said, I think it needs to be demonstrated that the illegal trade in bodies included the removal of organs at a mortuary. According to Prosector, whoever did this was well versed/experienced in such operations and there weren't many of them around, even among surgeons 'only Dr Phillips had the slightest idea of what was involved'.

                      Who at the mortuaries would have had the necessary experience to do this and are there any source documents which demonstrate that organs were removed at the mortuary as part of the clandestine trade in body parts?
                      In her book "Hidden histories of the dead" In this discipline-redefining book, Elizabeth T. Hurren maps the post-mortem journeys of bodies, body parts, organs and brains,

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                        The quote from Prosector is intersting and I refer to the last line

                        "To me and to other surgeons that I have discussed it with like Professor Harold Ellis, it is absolutely staggering that he did what he did to Chapman and Eddowes in such a short time - or at all.

                        By that comment I take that to suggest that the killer did not remove the organs at the crime scene !

                        www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                        I think that's a reasonable conclusion, although I would like to ask Prosector the question: let's assume Catherine was murdered not long after she left the police station, what are your thoughts on the possibility of this happening in a significantly wider timeframe? Unfortunately, there isn't the option for more details from Prosector.

                        I do think that while it can be demonstrated there was a thriving illegal trade in bodies in the East End, we're a bit short on evidence of organs being removed at a mortuary. There is always the chance I missed it in Professor Hurren's article, but she makes reference only to limbs going missing, and in the event she had found instances of organs going missing she would have included this in her article.

                        There is the matter of who did this in the event it was done at the mortuary also. Going by Prosector's post, there were very few people around with the skills to do this, and so in the event somebody was shipped in to do it as part of the illegal body trade then whom would have had this necessary experience? I say this in the context of there currently being a lack of evidence of organ harvesting anywhere, whether that be at the mortuary or anywhere else; and so in the event organ harvesting was not common as part of the illegal body trade then we are struggling for people with the necessary experience to do this.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                          In her book "Hidden histories of the dead" In this discipline-redefining book, Elizabeth T. Hurren maps the post-mortem journeys of bodies, body parts, organs and brains,

                          www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                          Ok. Let me see if I can find some extracts.

                          In the absence of that, can you post an extract from her book?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                            In her book "Hidden histories of the dead" In this discipline-redefining book, Elizabeth T. Hurren maps the post-mortem journeys of bodies, body parts, organs and brains,

                            www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                            Trevor,

                            Am I missing something here?

                            Apparently this book is a study of British medical research after WW2.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                              Ok. Let me see if I can find some extracts.

                              In the absence of that, can you post an extract from her book?
                              At the risk of opening another can of worms which might force herlock into meltdown she mentions brains that might explain why the torsos were all found minus their heads bearing in mind I dont believe they were the victim of a killer.

                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                                Trevor,

                                Am I missing something here?

                                Apparently this book is a study of British medical research after WW2.
                                It is a medical journal follow the link

                                https://www.google.com/search?q=Prof...client=gws-wiz

                                www.trevormarriott.co.uk




                                Comment

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