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Dr. KIlleen & The Bayonet Wound Theory

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  • Dr. KIlleen & The Bayonet Wound Theory

    Folks are well aware of the deposition that Dr. Thomas Killeen provided on the 9th of August, 1888.

    My question here is in regard to the post-mortem examination AND the possibility of Dr. Killeen hearing about P.C.Barrett's story of the Lone Guardsman PRIOR to the post mortem he conducted on Tabram.

    Is it possible that Dr. Killeen was aware of Barrett's "Soldiers Story" right before he examined the wounds and came up with the theory that it may have been a weapon such as a bayonet?

    Yeah...I know. It sounds far fetched.

    Anyone?

  • #2
    Hi Howard,

    Dr. Killeen never suggested a bayonet as a possible weapon. This has been blown out of proportion over the years. Someone at the inquest, after hearing about the soldiers, etc., asked Dr. Killeen if it was possible that a bayonet could have been used, and Killeen simply acknowledged it as a possibility. There was no endorsement from him on the matter. However, he does feel that a penknife was used for 38 of the wounds.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Tom.

      The suggestion that a bayonet could have been used IS sort of unusual,don't you think? And we both have seen it mentioned before....

      Because the deposition from the Inquest on the 9th mentioned "dagger".

      You see what I mean?

      Comment


      • #4
        It was a sensible enough question when asked, but the professional opinion was a penknife and dagger. Having said that, Killeen was as green as they come - a fact I didn't fully appreciate until after reading Wolf Vanderlinden's essay in Ripper Notes some time back. While I don't agree with Wolf's conclusions regarding Tabram, his information on Killeen (and other factors) was invaluable.

        Yours truly,

        Tom Wescott

        Comment


        • #5
          Could it be possible that the killer struck so brutally with his knife that the cross section (Quillion) comes loose, thus the final blow travels deeper?

          Here is a fine page showing the anatomy of different knives, I must admit, i thought a knife was a knife until I saw this page!!

          http://www.jayfisher.com/knife_anato...rts,_names.htm

          Scroll down until you reach "Knife anatomy 8-The Dagger"

          I just find it hard to accept that more than one knife was carried.
          Regards Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            Simple explanation

            I believe the knife got stuck in the breastplate, just as it would in a plank of wood. The killer had to wiggle it back and forth to get it loose, and in doing so he created a wider opening than what would have appeared in the soft flesh. Of course, giving Killeen the benefit of the doubt (which I should probably do!) the killer may have indeed used two knives for any one of a variety of reasons.

            Yours truly,

            Tom Wescott

            Comment


            • #7
              From what I understood of the testimony is that DR Killeen felt that the knife wich he supposed was a penknife was not strong enough in the blade to have penetrated the breastbone. So that he then supposed there were two knives involved. One being much stronger. I had always assumed Dr Killeen heard of the soldiers story and thats why a bayonet was even mentioned as a possible weapon. I dont think DR Killeen had much more in the way of clues as to the second knife being a bayonet. At least I dont remember him mentioning any.

              Does that sound about right??

              Comment


              • #8
                Tom Wescott writes:

                "However, he does feel that a penknife was used for 38 of the wounds"

                Maybe he does, Tom. And maybe he doesn´t. I believe that the wording went something along the lines that the 38 wounds could have been made by an ordinary knife, such as a penknife.

                The trouble of the matter is that a pen-knife is NOT an ordinary knife, at least not in circumstances like these.

                Keeping in mind that pen-knifes have short blades, Killeen would of course have been wrong. No short blade penetrates the way that the blade that cut Tabram did.

                My feeling is that Killeens mentioning of a pen-knife could have owed to one thing, and one thing alone: the entrance wounds would have carried a resemblance to what could be expected from a pen-knife. Leaving us with a blade that was long, thin and narrow - which is the exact description given by Phillips of the blade that took out Chapmans´uterus.

                This also goes a long way to show that Killeen knew what he was talking about when he said that the weapon that pierced the sternum was NOT the same weapon that did the rest of the damage; if that other blade caused entrance holes that made Killeen ponder pen-knifes, then it could not possibly have made a hole through the sternum that evinced the use of something bayonet or dagger-sized.

                The best, Tom, all!
                Fisherman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Mitch,

                  Dr. Killeen doesn't actually specifiy the breastbone as a target. That's just my conjecture. Also, once again, Dr. Killeen never mentioned bayonet. It's a non-starter.

                  Yours truly,

                  Tom Wescott

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
                    I believe the knife got stuck in the breastplate, just as it would in a plank of wood. The killer had to wiggle it back and forth to get it loose, and in doing so he created a wider opening than what would have appeared in the soft flesh. Of course, giving Killeen the benefit of the doubt (which I should probably do!) the killer may have indeed used two knives for any one of a variety of reasons.

                    Yours truly,

                    Tom Wescott
                    I think that the People of the time left us no definate answer as to one knife or two. But that what we know(possibly) for sure is that many wounds were shallow and one wound was deep and required a knife with unusuall strength.
                    At least somewhat more than a penknife of the time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
                      Hi Mitch,

                      Dr. Killeen doesn't actually specifiy the breastbone as a target. That's just my conjecture. Also, once again, Dr. Killeen never mentioned bayonet. It's a non-starter.

                      Yours truly,

                      Tom Wescott
                      Thanks..Ill read it all again today to refresh my memory on the subject.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's not a matter of depth, Mitch, but width of the wounds. And you're absolutely correct, we do not know for sure if one or two weapons were used. And if two were used, we don't know if by one or two men.

                        Yours truly,

                        Tom Wescott

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mitch:

                          No, I knew Killeen didn't mention a bayonet,...I effed up the title of the thread...and since Tommy straightened it out, let me continue.

                          You yourself have probably heard the bayonet theory or at least a bayonet in conjunction with this murder perhaps mentioned once or twice. Tom's explanation of how one removes a knife from wood/a breastplate has always been my interpretation of why the wound appeared to Killeen to have been made with another weapon.

                          So back to my original question in the proper way...long day at work, Mitch...

                          Do you guys and anyone else think that this bandying about of the possible "bayonet" was encouraged by Barrett in some way?

                          P.S. Mike....Don't forget old Charley Ludwig. He had over two knives on his person when they picked him up and I would be surprised if Jack The Ripper didn't as well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mitch writes:
                            "what we know(possibly) for sure is that many wounds were shallow "

                            Wrong, Mitch! Of the 38 wounds, we only know for sure that one of them was shallow, and that is the three inch-wide and one inch-deep wound at the lower abdomen. Of the other wounds we know for certain that they travelled through the fatty layers on Tabram, and pierced deep-set internal organs such as spleen and liver. Those are not shallow wounds, Mitch! And still, interestingly, they only left entrance wounds that made Killeen speak of a pen-knife.

                            The best,
                            Fisherman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by How Brown
                              P.S. Mike....Don't forget old Charley Ludwig. He had over two knives on his person when they picked him up and I would be surprised if Jack The Ripper didn't as well.
                              Absolutely. I believe the Ripper went out prepared, including with a weapon other than a knife in the event of being interrupted before he could escape.

                              Yours truly,

                              Tom Wescott

                              Comment

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