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  • #16
    No two attacks by the same man are going to be identical, and any violent offender has free will to experiment; chop and change what works and doesn't work for him; adapt to the situation and circumstances; change his mind about attacking anyone on a particular night; escalate or go back to something he tried before if the mood takes him. Why would we put our own arbitrary restrictions on the behaviour of such an individual?

    I don't know what to think about the attack on Emma Smith, so I rule nothing out and remain 50/50 on a connection with one or more of the other murders, most obviously that of Martha Tabram, ripper murder or not.

    I do find it remarkable that both victims were defenceless street women, and both were attacked on a Bank Holiday. The closeness of the locations is staggering. If Emma had sustained any knife wounds along with her other injuries, and had not lived long enough to talk about her ordeal, I'd have been far more inclined to link her with one or more of the Whitechapel knife attacks.

    One witness suggested Emma was reluctant to go to the hospital for treatment, which, if true, might support the theory that a lone man was responsible, but she was too embarrassed to admit it. It must have been just one man who caused the truly horrific injury which proved fatal. If two or three others were present, I have to wonder whether they stood around watching, or helped to hold her down.

    I seriously doubt that JtR would have been part of a gang, so it all depends on whether Emma told the truth. If she did, how would the other gang members have known if the one using the blunt instrument did go on to commit the ripper murders? More to the point, how would they know he didn't? Either way, I can't see them grassing him up and risking their own necks, assuming they were aware that the attack on Emma Smith had ended in her murder. And what about Martha Tabram? If she was a victim of the same gang we'd never know it, would we?

    Whoever did that to Emma was a depraved and extremely dangerous individual, as was the creature who brutally murdered Martha Tabram, and yet we have to consider that the killer in either case did nothing like this again and bowed out just as Jack was about to make his entrance.


    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


    • #17
      Originally posted by clark2710 View Post
      Ok I am just now getting into reading about Emma Smith and the other non canonical victims, something I've only peeked at in the past, but how is Emma considered a victim of JtR when she herself said to the dr. that she was approached and assaulted by a group of men? I'll admit that I'm not done reading but wanted to put this out there
      The problem is, if we ask the wrong questions then we are very likely to arrive at the wrong answers.

      Emma Smith reported to Doctor Haslip she walked past Whitechapel church where her attackers followed her up Osborn Street. She said they attacked her at the top of that street, at the junction with Brick Lane. The coroner at her inquest, Wynne E Baxter, admitted that he has never heard of such a dastardly assault. No common robbery of a woman walking the streets this. An unusual cruel and brutal attack which deprived a woman of her life.

      When just 4 months later, a woman who had also been drinking in the vicinity was murdered just two alleyways across from Osborn Street. Martha Tabram was a similar age, had been out on the streets late at night and was possibly a sex worker. Just like the previous murder, it had occurred in the early hours after a bank holiday.

      The connection between the two crimes was considered plausible enough to create a file containing both of these murders. The Whitechapel Murders file was started and the police were looking for a multiple murderer or murderers. A murderous gang hanging out in the vicinity of Whitechapel church must have been one possibility. Another could be that Emma Smith had not been entirely truthful and her attacker had been a single man, perhaps out of bravado but arguably more likely because she knew her attacker. Hiding his identity out of fear or a misplaced loyalty.

      At the end of August, the body of another woman was found in Whitechapel. 'Another woman found mutilated in Whitechapel' were the kinds of headlines, the press started to go wild. There had been three murders of women in Whitechapel in under six months. The last person to see the woman alive was Emily Holland, who met her at the bottom of Osborn Street. The woman walked down Whitechapel Road, her route must have taken her past Whitechapel church. The woman's body was found about one hour later, roughly fifteen minute walk from the spot. Her murder must have taken place shortly after that conversation with Emily Holland. That woman was Polly Nichols.

      The link between these three crimes must have seemed extremely plausible. The geographic location, the unusual nature of the violence, the similar time of the attacks and similarity of the victims are all plausible reasons to think these crimes might be related.

      The world did not hear the name 'Jack the Ripper' until late September 1888. At the beginning of September in 1888, 'who is Jack the Ripper?' was not the case the police were trying to crack. The murders of Emma Smith, Martha Tabram and Polly Nichols was the case. If the murders had stopped here, it is doubtful anyone would argue the three crimes were related and the history books might better remember Leather Apron as the name given to the perpetrator(s) of three unsolved murders in Whitechapel in 1888.

      Emma Smith was not added to the Ripper's tally. The crime was later removed from consideration. So in my opinion more historically accurate questions to ask might be, why is Emma Smith no longer considered a victim? Why did some of the later police investigators consider only the later murders? Did the investigators really establish a 'canonical five'? And should we accept their conclusions?