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McKenzie - Ripper or not?

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  • #31
    If Alice was, then she must have caught Jack on one of his off nights. After what happened to Mary Kelly, to go back to a seven inch scratch and some superficial cuts on his victim's abdomen is a bit of a change in his M.O. There also seem to have been stabs at rather than a deep slash of the neck. Perhaps he just couldn't be bothered anymore!

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    • #32
      I believe that she probably was a Ripper victim. The simple fact is that prior to 1888 this would surely have been regarded as an incredibly rare crime. In fact, outside of 1888 murder itself was a rare event in Whitechapel. The Annual Report of the Sanitary Conditions of Whitechapel listed no murders at all in the Whitechapel area in 1886 or 1887 and only one murder was recorded in 1889 and 1890.

      I would further argue that, prior to 1888, this type of crime would have been virtually unprecedented. In fact, before 1888, and after the Coles Murder in 1891, how many recorded incidence are there of women being found in the streets of Whitechapel with their throats cut or abdomens mutilated? Off hand I can't think of any.

      And then there's the fact that, in typical Ripper fashion, her throat was cut whilst she was on the ground, possibly a stratagem to avoid arterial spray.

      Dr Bond also believed that she was a Ripper victim, pointing out the similar MO, i.e. "the throat skillfully and resolutely cut with subsequent mutilation, each mutilation indicating sexual thoughts and a desire to mutilate the abdomen and sexual organs."

      The main argument against was that the mutilations were no where near as extensive as that inflicted on MJK. However, she was killed indoors, where JTR could work without the likelihood of interruption. There is also the distinct possibility that her killer was disturbed as her body was still warm at discovery.

      And given the rarity of this type of crime what really are the alternatives. A copycat killer? Surely they mainly exist in crime fiction, I mean, where's the evidence of a copycat Zodiac? Yorkshire Ripper? Jack the Stripper? And why wait several months after the MJK murder? I suppose William Bury's murder of his wife comes closest to a possible copycat JTR crime, but that happened in Dundee. And who knows? Maybe William Bury was JTR! He certainly used to be my favorite suspect!
      Last edited by John G; 10-08-2014, 04:19 AM.

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      • #33
        The Alice McKenzie murder is one of the aspects of this case that most intrigues me. Looking at various sources, I think her exclusion from the "canonical" list is mainly due to the long gap between her death and the Kelly murder, and because her wounds were substantially less gruesome than Kelly's, which breaks the narrative of a killer escalating in his fury until his 'mind breaks' in Millers Court.

        In reality, we now know serial killers can sometimes go years without committing a murder, and that there is not always a neat escalation in violence. Some have even been known to adapt their MO (Sutcliffe, for example, started strangling rather than coshing later victims).

        From what I understand, there is much in common in McKenzie's death and those of the "canonical" victims. For example:

        Mary Ann Nichols:
        • Killed on the ground in the street by having throat cut
        • 2 distinct cuts to the throat, from the left to right
        • Stabs to private parts
        • Incisions to abdomen (exposing the intestines)
        • Bruises to face

        Alice McKenzie's wounds are very similar, though apparently less savage (the wounds to the abdomen much shallower, and without the distinctive placing of the intestines over the shoulder evident in the Chapman and Eddowes murders).

        In the case of Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly I also understand their throats were cut very deeply, with scratches on the spinal column, almost enough to sever the head. However Stride, like McKenzie, only had a shallower cut to the left side of the throat, only partly severing the left carotid artery. If (a big If, maybe) we accept that Stride is a "canonical" victim and the murderer was disturbed or scared off, could the same not apply to McKenzie?

        Given that the doctors involved in post mortems disagreed about whether "canonical" victims were killed by the same man, and given the police were concerned enough by McKenzie's murder to immediately step up the patrols in Whitechapel, I'm intrigued to understand why there is a general tendency to exclude McKenzie from the sequence of murders, and to include Tabram (whose death from multiple stab wounds looks, superficially, very unlike the murderer's typical MO).

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Matt Michael View Post

          Given that the doctors involved in post mortems disagreed about whether "canonical" victims were killed by the same man, and given the police were concerned enough by McKenzie's murder to immediately step up the patrols in Whitechapel, I'm intrigued to understand why there is a general tendency to exclude McKenzie from the sequence of murders, and to include Tabram (whose death from multiple stab wounds looks, superficially, very unlike the murderer's typical MO).
          Macnaughten's 1894 report is where the "canonical" victims list comes from. He removed McKenzie because his favorite suspect was dead when she was murdered. Including her would discount much of Macnaughten's documents and remove a fistful of perennial favorites from the suspect list.
          I'm not so sure why Tabram is more included, when she was killed her murder was linked to a few others as I recall but they are rarely included and many figure he/she had to start somewhere earlier than the five, I guess.
          Iím often irrelevant. It confuses people.

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          • #35
            How is McKenzie's murder different from Tabram's?

            It's the same kind of murder, although the weapon is different.
            Is it progress when a cannibal uses a fork?
            - Stanislaw Jerzy Lee

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            • #36
              Originally posted by SirJohnFalstaff View Post
              How is McKenzie's murder different from Tabram's?
              Throat was cut?

              Body was slashed, not stabbed?

              Wounds directed at lower body, not chest?

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              • #37
                Hi Harry.

                DS Swanson's report on the Tabram murder says there was a wound "on the lower portion of the body" 3 inches long and 1 inch deep, the medical evidence says.

                So there are quite a few similarities between McKenzie and Tabram. Both were brutally killed and both suffered attacks to the lower portion of the body. Both were prostitites, both were found dead in Whitechapel, both murders were unsolved.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Sleuth1888 View Post
                  Hi Harry.

                  DS Swanson's report on the Tabram murder says there was a wound "on the lower portion of the body" 3 inches long and 1 inch deep, the medical evidence says.

                  So there are quite a few similarities between McKenzie and Tabram. Both were brutally killed and both suffered attacks to the lower portion of the body. Both were prostitites, both were found dead in Whitechapel, both murders were unsolved.
                  Hey, Sleuth.

                  I guess that's the $1m question: At what point does a murder become a Ripper murder? Because Tabram had one incidental wound on her lower-abdomen, does that make her a Ripper victim, even if the other 39 stabbings were directed at her upper-torso?

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                  • #39
                    Tabram and mckenzie were both ripper victims. The clincher for me for both is that there skirts were pushed up for the killer to get at pelvic /abdominal area.
                    "Is all that we see or seem
                    but a dream within a dream?"

                    -Edgar Allan Poe


                    "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                    quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                    -Frederick G. Abberline

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                    • #40
                      Just speculating, no evidence at all to support this, BUT, if the killer had been confined somewhere and escaped, he/she could still be under the effects of a drug used to keep him calm, and therefore less on his game.

                      C4

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                      • #41
                        I have not read up on this murder, so I voted Undecided.

                        Interesting that other crimes which seemed influenced by the Ripper also had motives, but McKenzie's did not.
                        Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                        ---------------
                        Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                        ---------------

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                        • #42
                          Having given this long consideration I think MacKenzie WAS a ripper victim

                          However that said, I think it can be concluded that Anderson/Swanson and MacNaughten would have disagreed with my assessment

                          They clearly thought she was NOT a ripper victim

                          And i believe that is important when considering the various documents related to them...

                          What they thought is far more important than what modern individuals believe

                          Yours Jeff

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                            Hey, Sleuth.

                            I guess that's the $1m question: At what point does a murder become a Ripper murder? Because Tabram had one incidental wound on her lower-abdomen, does that make her a Ripper victim, even if the other 39 stabbings were directed at her upper-torso?
                            I didn't say that either Tabram, McKenzie or both were Ripper victims.

                            I merely suggested that they were more similar than we first though viz. the attack on lower portion of body in regards to both victims.

                            Tabram was killed out of pure rage. The motive? We may perhaps never know. The fact that her skirt was pushed up may suggest that her client was initially preparing for intercourse before any number of things could have set him off. The pushing up of the skirt alone does not scream 'Ripper' to me, neither does one solitary wound to her private parts either, when the other attacks where directed to her chest area.

                            McKenzie was killed perhaps by an imitator who wanted to arouse excitement and fear once the Autumn of Terror subsided in November.

                            However there is the possibility that Tabram and McKenzie were killed by the same man, but what makes this man the Ripper? I've yet to find a convincing answer to that question!

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                            • #44
                              Hello all,

                              As far as possibly replicated acts go, Alices death is much closer a match with the murders of Polly and Annie than any other alleged Ripper victim....however....if it was a "copycat", then we likely have 2 murders or more that were intended to appear as if Jacky got to them. That's problematic obviously...one is far less a contentious idea than 2 or more killers attempting to disguise their act by invoking the Phantom Menace.

                              But then again we see in todays world that killers are influenced by the highly publicized details of prior murders. I cite dismembered bodies as an example...one occurrence is often followed by similar acts.

                              Cheers

                              Oh, by the way I say no to Jack being the culprit, the man that killed Polly and Annie was out of circulation by that time.
                              Michael Richards

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                              • #45
                                I have voted "undecided" as

                                1) I'm not really up on the Alice Mackenzie murder, except it was in 1889.
                                2) The arguments "for" and "against" are equally balanced to me.

                                My problem is the "canonical five" (six if we include Tabram) are in a relatively close period of time of four months (August to November 1888). Therefore anything before (Emma Smith) or after (Alice MacKenzie to Frances Coles) is questionable. It is a point that many certainly disagree with, as we know (from cases like "the Yorkshire Ripper" or "Zodiac") that serial killers can operate over years, but the spacing and signatures of those cases remain fairly consistent. MacKenzie and Coles could be copycats.

                                Yet at the same time, if the Ripper did get briefly incarcerated or somehow physically debilitated (beaten up say for an unrelated reason) he might resume at half strength. The idea voiced before of a drugged Ripper escaping from a madhouse and killing Alice while acting at half speed is not impossible.

                                So I am undecided, though I suspect I'm closer to "No".

                                Jeff

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