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The Tell-Tale Blade - Thoughts on the Knives Used on Martha Tabram

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  • The Tell-Tale Blade - Thoughts on the Knives Used on Martha Tabram

    Hello everybody,

    I've reached a careful conclusion (o-oh) about what happened to Martha Tabram, meaning how it happened.
    The write-down of this resulted in 4 pages, so I'm rather attaching it.

    In a nutshell, I'm arguing, that while the use of 2 blades is frequently seen as one argument against the murderer of Tabram as having been the same perpetrator who later murdered Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly, it is in fact the very presence of the larger of the blades, which was used to stab her in the heart, that, because it was brought along with the smaller one, may very well imply not only clear premeditation but also that we might be dealing with the same man.

    I'd be very grateful for thoughts and/or rebuttals.

    Have a great weekend
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Thank you, Sepiae, very interesting.

    According to your theory, the killer changed from stabbing the heart to strangulation/cut throat.

    I would suggest he might have done this because of the difficulty in stabbing a standing, conscious individual directly in the heart.

    The later victims were not likely to lie down, so I think he would have realized this difficulty.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
      Thank you, Sepiae, very interesting.

      According to your theory, the killer changed from stabbing the heart to strangulation/cut throat.

      I would suggest he might have done this because of the difficulty in stabbing a standing, conscious individual directly in the heart.

      The later victims were not likely to lie down, so I think he would have realized this difficulty.

      Hi Kattrup,

      wow, you're quick. Thank you

      Yes, that's indeed a thought I also had. Him bringing the large blade for the specific purpose of stabbing the heart, the need to drive it through bone still presenting a challenge, and effort.
      I have no troubles at all imagining him seeing another knife later that, perhaps first on the more instinctive level, actually incites the idea of throat-cutting in him.

      I have a similar idea like yours also in regards of the perp having not strangled Catherine Eddowes:
      strangling costs more effort and time than the movies will have us believe;
      it also involves the victim fighting back, e.g. kicking you in the groin.
      it's energy- and time-consuming, it's an inconvenience on the way to what is the real priority.
      hence he might be trying without the strangling (alternatively something just went wrong)
      - and it is a sufficient explanation for the difference in the cuts to Kate's throat, compared with Polly and Annie.

      With Tabram it's the very presence of that large blade in the 1st place that intrigues.

      Comment


      • #4
        p.s.

        ... although I believe that the victim out on the ground is the most convenient with either method.
        It's been theorized that he might have tripped his victims. And with Nichols and Chapman it was strangulation.
        Which is in the end my point:
        - incapacitating the victim (strangulation & throat-cutting / stab to the heart)
        - followed by what he wanted to do to the body, i.e. multiple stabs evolving into mutilation and organ extraction

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree sepiae. It all points to the same man. Plus I wouldn't have thought it that unusual for a serial killer to carry more than one knife.

          Cheers John

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by John Wheat View Post
            I agree sepiae. It all points to the same man. Plus I wouldn't have thought it that unusual for a serial killer to carry more than one knife.

            Cheers John
            Hi John,

            well, I wouldn't know about how unusual it'd be, especially for this perpetrator - in the end it's that large one that I initially did find unusual. Or rather the result:

            39 stabs
            38 of them delivered all over the body
            only 1 delivered to the heart, and with quite some precision

            does really not look like randomness

            but that doesn't contradict you, of course

            Comment


            • #7
              Shouldn't this thread be in the Martha Tabram section? Emma Smith isn't even one of the canonicals, so I fail to see even the faintest connection.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's pure speculation on my part, with no evidence to back it up, but I've always wondered if the murderer (assuming it was only one) didn't stab Tabram first in the chest with the big knife, expecting her to gasp and fall down dead, like a murder victim in the penny dreadfuls. In my scenario she fainted, and probably struck her head when she fell. The murderer believed that she was dead. Then, when he'd pushed up her dress and begun to 'play' with the small, sharp knife he'd brought along for that purpose, she gave some sign of life, perhaps seemed to be recovering consciousness. The killer panicked, and began stabbing frantically with the small knife which he had in his hand. As I said, complete speculation, but this has always seemed plausible to me.
                - Ginger

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's as good an explanation as any, Ginger. Perfectly plausible. Two knives does not necessarily mean two people. It could mean one person, with premeditation not only to kill but to get creative.
                  Last edited by Karl; 09-19-2018, 04:46 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Knives used on Tabram

                    Wasn't the stab to the heart by a triangular blade? I might be mistaken.
                    Didn't she go off with a soldier, if so, the knife sounds like the type of bayonet used for the Martini Henry.

                    If he had tripped Tabram it would be a lot easier to stab her in the heart whilst she was on the floor as the bayonet had no handle, only a curved mounting point for the barrel, much easier to use both hands and thrust downwards, it would be extremely hard to stab forward into a standing person.

                    Once on the ground dead, he could pull a smaller knife and mutilate at will, which is what he normally does , perhaps the bayonet thing was an early experiment in initial first contact only to be developed later to the strangulation, then/or, the slice across the throat?

                    As to why two knives, perhaps, as a soldier, he carried a bayonet in his webbing/frog (I don't know if they were allowed to carry it when they were on 24 hr leave)?

                    Again, as a soldier, he may also carry a personal knife for close in self defence or for whittling? Look at most soldiers in the 20th century, they have a bayonet and often a fighting knife (Kabar bowie, commando knife etc).

                    I really don't know.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The blade that pierced the sternum was not described as triangular. In fact the blade was not described at all. It was just larger than the others.
                      One term used was 'dagger', which suggests a wider blade than the many penknife wounds. Whether the sternum wound was made by a single-sided blade, or double-sided, is also not clear.
                      A 'dagger' could have been either.
                      Regards, Jon S.

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