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  • #31
    Hi Dave.

    I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work plotting the various torso discoveries.

    Best regards,
    Archaic

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    • #32
      No need to thank me Archaic. They have been ignored for too long with no just cause. Dave
      We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

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      • #33
        Just starting to explore the torso murders with a bit more interest.
        So just want to say thanks (somewhat belatedly) for these maps - very useful - and to give this thread a bump because it's very interesting and deserves more attention and activity!

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        • #34
          Hi Doc. Yes, the torso murders are extremely fascinating and I look forward to the time when I'll be able to study them appropriately. I have some definite ideas on this series of murders.

          Yours truly,

          Tom Wescott

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          • #35
            Hi Tom
            Currently compiling a XL spreadsheet of all relevant victims and characteristics for my own purposes. Not sure what to make of them so far, so compiling data seems a good place to start! One thing that really stands out - and has been mentioned before - is that they are all (with one exception) missing their heads. Hmmmm.

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            • #36
              Hi Doc. Do you have the two books on the subject? Your spreadsheet idea is a good one. And yes, obscuring the identity of these women seems to have been a priority. Perhaps running contrary to this priority was the killer(s) other priorty, which was displaying his sense of dark humor and irony...I suppose that eliminates an American as a suspect.

              Yours truly,

              Tom Wescott

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              • #37
                Hi Tom
                Ha! Like it, though not sure such reasoning would hold up in a court of law (cultural profiling I believe the term is!).
                Yeah, I have a fondness of spreadsheets - helps me gather variables in one place and allows ease of comparison. Currently running through the exact (or as near as dammit) locations of the body-part discoveries - very complicated relying on newspaper reports, and some rather splendid maps of course.
                Alas, I don't have the books, yet - they were to be my next stop (begging, borrowing... possibly stealing them, I haven't ruled that out yet). Which is the better, would you say?
                I think you are correct in that obscuring identity was important, but I suspect perhaps not strictly associated with making sure they were not identified. It is more complicated and psychological than that, and connected with not seeing them as individuals, etc. I think he is disposing with the heads somewhere special (at least to him) perhaps by burying, or similar, so that he can return. Also, he has no qualms about keeping them way past their "best before" date - the state of some of these bodies must have been deeply unpleasant. And it is 3 weeks between the discovery of the arm belonging to the Whitehall Torso, and the torso itself being placed in Scotland Yard. At least 3 weeks (probably more) without refrigeration.
                Hmmmm. Very interesting indeed.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Debra A View Post
                  But we are talking specifically here of the four torso murders, the finding of the remains mapped here by protohistorian. These were all females between the ages of 25 and 45, all dismembered and found between 1887 and 1889. Detailed post mortem notes, including examination of remaining internal organs were all done on these four. I'd expect doctors to be able to determine the cause of death of at least one of these women if they had died from disease in the workhouse or whatever and their bodies given over as anatomical specimens. No diseased organs were found in any of the cases to account for cause of death. {...} No other dismembered corpses were found in the Thames or surrounding areas in this particular time period, why just these four women?
                  Interesting. I've just started conducting research on the Paris torso and have just found out that there were also 4 torso murders in Paris in 1886-1887. Still haven't had the chance to look for 1888/1889.
                  By the by, according to the morgue register at the Paris Police Archives, there were dozens of dead newborns thrown into the Seine each year. Does this compare to the Thames?
                  Best regards,
                  Maria

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                  • #39
                    [QUOTE By the by, according to the morgue register at the Paris Police Archives, there were dozens of dead newborns thrown into the Seine each year. Does this compare to the Thames?[/QUOTE]

                    I don't know specifics, but almost certainly this was the case, and, I suspect, it still is... for manifold reasons, and amongst numerous demographics.

                    In the LVP, poverty, lack of understanding, shame and a wish to remove evidence of "dishonour" or results of incestuous union, etc will have resulted in neonates, both dead and alive, being thrown in the river.

                    and the Thames remains a popular disposal place - cases like this also occur from time to time in our own time.
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_the_Stripper
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_(murder_victim)

                    Note how on the 'Adam' murder, police suggest that in two tides, the body would have disappeared into the north sea. I wonder what that means for our "torso killings"? How many would have disappeared, washed out, sunk, or simply dissolved. Chilling.

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                    • #40
                      Hi Doc. You've read a lot more into the torso killer's motives and personality than I'm willing to. But who knows, you might be right. I'm personally of the opinion that 90% of everything we've read about serial killer profiling is bunk and only works in the movies.

                      As for the two books on the torso killer, R. Michael Gordon's is the best, though Trow has his moments. Neither is authoritative. In fact, you'd probably be better served doing your own research first and THEN reading the two books.

                      Yours truly,

                      Tom Wescott

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                      • #41
                        Tom,

                        I was just thinking about this profiling business and the applicability of it to older crimes. It doesn't work. Why? Because it's a newish theory based on fairly recent psychiatric pigeonholes. Unless Victorian-era criminals could be brought into the future and examined in modern circumstances, with modern psychiatric personnel with modern labels to be affixed to them, it is no better than yours or my guess about individuals. Because we cannot observe behavior through modern lenses, we cannot neatly fit (stuff) any suspects into contemporary disorders and patterns of behavior. We haven't even any real evidence except for the few asylum files (for a few suspects) and graphic descriptions of the victims, though not detailed enough for what we need, and some inquest questioning which seems to me to be staged, or after the fact questioning of people who have probably already been questioned and prompted to answer in the same way as earlier testimony.

                        I even think there might be something to be said for general behavior at that time being different from general behavior of people these days due to many things, such as having less technology, less climate control, different sorts of pollutions and other various factors that I could go on and on about. And before people say that generally speaking, people can be analyzed similarly, I would disagree. If I look at my own American society from the 60s to the 2000 teens, I see many more races, religions, more poverty, and more unfriendliness. I think all these things factor into group and individual psychology. The soft science of psychology itself changes a lot every several years. Why? because thoughts change and new labels have to be created and old disorders have to be nuanced. It's all organic, but it's very difficult to be retro-organic.

                        Just some thoughts.

                        Mike
                        huh?

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                        • #42
                          rot

                          Hello Tom.

                          "I'm personally of the opinion that 90% of everything we've read about serial killer profiling is bunk and only works in the movies."

                          Hmm, I just may have that one framed and hanged where everyone can see it.

                          Cheers.
                          LC

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by The Good Michael View Post
                            It's all organic, but it's very difficult to be retro-organic.
                            A good historian, Michael, should be able to be retro-organic. By having deeply studied the history, social history, art, press, and "pop culture" of the era in question. I'm sure Lynn will agree with me.
                            Best regards,
                            Maria

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by mariab View Post
                              A good historian, Michael, should be able to be retro-organic. By having deeply studied the history, social history, art, press, and "pop culture" of the era in question. I'm sure Lynn will agree with me.
                              I don't believe that actually. I'm a history teacher and I think we can go back a decade or so and be okay with how things worked at that time, but studying history and language and all the things you mentioned don't amount to much because it is all selective. Without living and working and hating and loving and getting ill in a particular period, we cannot see the reality. It's not so different from the ding an sich stuff. We cannot see something as it is in reality, so how can we profile it? Just thinking aloud really, but we humans love to categorize everything, but it isn't how things are, it's how our forefathers did it and how we do it know, and everyone clings to their own idea of classification when it just cannot be that way naturally or organically.

                              Mike
                              huh?

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                              • #45
                                I hear what you're saying Michael, but I think that if we immerse ourselves deeply enough in the realities of the past with as much knowledge and information as possible, it's possible to develop a realistic feeling for it. Though I agree about what you say about selective/limited representations and documentation.

                                This now doesn't refer to profiling, which to me for the most part is basic, self explanatory stuff.
                                Best regards,
                                Maria

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