Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Torso Killer discussion from Millwood Thread

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
    the only pregnant victim was Elizabeth Jackson (putting the "illegal abortionist" line to rest I think).



    Not necessarily so, Jeff.
    It was impossible to know if the Whitehall victim was pregnant because her uterus was missing, which in itself is highly suggestive of either an abortion case or a "pregnancy murder."
    Meanwhile, in the 1873 case, it was specifically theorized that the victim had had an abortion. Since Jackson was pregnant and cut to pieces, the prime suspect HAS to be the man who had impregnated her. Perhaps he was innocent, but he certainly would need to explain himself and furnish an alibi.
    The point though, Jeff, isn't that all of the victims can be pinned on abortionists; the point is that if even if only one or two of them were, it raises the possibility that we are looking at unrelated murders and there was no "series" at all. Excuse me if I misunderstand, but you seem to be working from the premise that there IS a series, and then working backwards, dismiss possible motives based on the medical condition of the victims in the other cases.
    By the way, in reference to those notes, what on earth does Hebbert mean by saying the victim had the "uterus of a virgin"? That's nonsensical, isn't it?



    Comment


    • #32
      I have seen references to a "virgin uterus" in old medical textbooks, which means the uterus of a woman that has never carried a child; I don't **think** Hebbert means to imply that he can tell the difference between the womb of a sexually active woman and a non-sexually active woman, granting that they both never carried a child. At least that's my interpretation. It would be odd if he's implying that she was a virgin merely on the appearance of her womb.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post


        Not necessarily so, Jeff.
        It was impossible to know if the Whitehall victim was pregnant because her uterus was missing, which in itself is highly suggestive of either an abortion case or a "pregnancy murder."

        True. However, in the autopsy notes the doctor links the Whitehall case to the 1887 case in their assessment of the disarticulations, and the 1887 case the doctor identifies the victim as a virgin (the uterus was present; so presumably the hymen was intact). If those two were performed by the same person (which is what those who argue for a series claim), then an abortionist is ruled out. The doctor also noted that the Whitehall victim had not suckled a child, and while that doesn't rule out them being pregnant at the time, it would be their first pregnancy if they had (most likely). Presumably, if they were pregnant, the breasts would show signs of that, depending upon how far along the pregnancy was.

        Meanwhile, in the 1873 case, it was specifically theorized that the victim had had an abortion. Since Jackson was pregnant and cut to pieces, the prime suspect HAS to be the man who had impregnated her. Perhaps he was innocent, but he certainly would need to explain himself and furnish an alibi.
        Yes, the father of Jackson's child would definitely be a top Person of Interest.

        The point though, Jeff, isn't that all of the victims can be pinned on abortionists; the point is that if even if only one or two of them were, it raises the possibility that we are looking at unrelated murders and there was no "series" at all. Excuse me if I misunderstand, but you seem to be working from the premise that there IS a series, and then working backwards, dismiss possible motives based on the medical condition of the victims in the other cases.
        I agree, if these are not a series by the same person, then that changes the possibilities for individual cases. I should have stated that I was considering these from the point of view of a series. I'm not convinced, though, that they are all linked to one person, only that there does appear to be a basis upon which to consider that possibility.

        By the way, in reference to those notes, what on earth does Hebbert mean by saying the victim had the "uterus of a virgin"? That's nonsensical, isn't it?
        No, not necessarily. If the hymen was still intact, that would indicate lack of penetration, and since the uterus was present I took it to mean he examined that, though the hymen is not part of the uterus itself. There may be other changes to the uterus that occur that indicate a prior pregnancy, or at least one that was carried to term, though of course that doesn't mean the person was a virgin. The full autopsy notes would (or I should say "should") indicate upon what evidence the doctor drew that conclusion. It's possible his conclusion was based upon ideas that have since been proven to be invalid.

        - Jeff

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          I have seen references to a "virgin uterus" in old medical textbooks, which means the uterus of a woman that has never carried a child; I don't **think** Hebbert means to imply that he can tell the difference between the womb of a sexually active woman and a non-sexually active woman, granting that they both never carried a child. At least that's my interpretation. It would be odd if he's implying that she was a virgin merely on the appearance of her womb.
          That's a good point, virgin may be used here to describe the uterus, so a virgin uterus is one that has never been pregnant, rather than virgin as a descriptor of the person, meaning has never been sexually active. That makes a lot of sense, particularly as it appears he indicates that it is possible that the person was unable to conceive (so there must have been something notable about the uterus to suggest that).

          An examination of the original notes would be useful to clarify what Debra A was being summarized.

          - Jeff

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
            Not sure where the full autopsy notes are that Debra A was working from, which would be even better to review, but her summary contains some important information.
            They can be found in A System of Legal Medicine, in a section written by Hebbert using his and Bond's original autopsy notes of the 87-89 torso cases (labelled I to IV chronologically), on pages 75-87
            (pages 84-96 of the reader).

            https://archive.org/details/asysteml...dkgoog/page/n9

            Comment


            • #36
              Yes, and Hebbert's exact wording is:

              The uterus was that of a virgin, but the vulva was too decomposed to give indication with regard to old or recent injury.

              Which raises a lot of questions.

              I read in a modern forensic book that is actually difficult to determine by the uterus whether a woman has carried a child to full term or not, but, for whatever reason, the Victorian medicos believed they could do it. Now Hebbert even seems to say that he can tell the difference between the womb of a virgin and a non-virgin. Curious.









              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                They can be found in A System of Legal Medicine, in a section written by Hebbert using his and Bond's original autopsy notes of the 87-89 torso cases (labelled I to IV chronologically), on pages 75-87
                (pages 84-96 of the reader).

                https://archive.org/details/asysteml...dkgoog/page/n9
                Oh brilliant. Thanks a lot for that.

                - Jeff

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                  Yes, and Hebbert's exact wording is:

                  The uterus was that of a virgin, but the vulva was too decomposed to give indication with regard to old or recent injury.

                  Which raises a lot of questions.

                  I read in a modern forensic book that is actually difficult to determine by the uterus whether a woman has carried a child to full term or not, but, for whatever reason, the Victorian medicos believed they could do it. Now Hebbert even seems to say that he can tell the difference between the womb of a virgin and a non-virgin. Curious.

                  Ah, then I suspect by "virgin" he is referring to not carrying to term rather than the individual. And, from the modern information, that his interpretation is based upon erroneous beliefs. That's important information, thanks.

                  - Jeff

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Hebbert refers to the "rugae of the vagina," which, along with the appearance of the breasts, is evidently why he determined she had never been a mother.

                    This is a sweeping generalization, but, all in all, and considering that the Regent Canal victim was over 25, is it really likely that this is the description of a "prostitute" as some argue?

                    I suppose some "unfortunates" might have been able to avoid pregnancy, but as the years rolled by, this would have been more and more unlikely; I think I recall Donald Rumbelow finding a case of middle-aged prostitute that was still a virgin, but that must have been a wild aberration.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                      Hebbert refers to the "rugae of the vagina," which, along with the appearance of the breasts, is evidently why he determined she had never been a mother.
                      I was always under the impression that Hebbert was describing the condition of the vagina as a means to determining a recent birth, rather than a previous birth. A recent birth being a pointer towards abortion.
                      ,,`,, Debs ,,`,,

                      I am not DJA. He's called Dave.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                        Ah, then I suspect by "virgin" he is referring to not carrying to term rather than the individual. And, from the modern information, that his interpretation is based upon erroneous beliefs. That's important information, thanks.

                        - Jeff

                        I have written about this a couple of times in the past with references from medical jurisprudence books that say this is specifically related to the uterus in terms of pregnancy rather than sexual activity but cant find those posts now. As I understood it, the uterus of a woman who has carried a child to term is most often altered permanently in shape and size. Though not always. Again though, I wonder if Hebbert is looking for evidence of past pregnancy or recent pregnancy?
                        ,,`,, Debs ,,`,,

                        I am not DJA. He's called Dave.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Debra A View Post

                          I have written about this a couple of times in the past with references from medical jurisprudence books that say this is specifically related to the uterus in terms of pregnancy rather than sexual activity but cant find those posts now. As I understood it, the uterus of a woman who has carried a child to term is most often altered permanently in shape and size. Though not always. Again though, I wonder if Hebbert is looking for evidence of past pregnancy or recent pregnancy?
                          Thanks for confirming that Debra A. Found your summary of the autopsy notes very informative, and appreciate your input here as well.

                          I would think he was looking for previous births, as a current pregnancy would show very definite changes in the uterus as it would be larger the further on into the pregnancy and the uterine walls would be far thicker than usual, either or both of which would be notable in an autopsy report; particularly if the fetus were absent (as per Elizabeth Jackson).

                          - Jeff

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            I think it would be a mistake to think that all of Hebbert/Bond's comments about the medical evidence are attempts to understand the crime; some of these comments are probably designed only to help the police identify the victim.

                            For instance, knowing if the woman ever gave birth would come in handy if 12 different families showed up at the morgue, thinking the victim was their lost daughter/wife/mother. If one of the theoretical 'matches' was known to have had three children, she could be eliminated as the Regent Canal victim. So these comments about the state of the uterus are not necessarily made strictly for the benefit of determining cause of death.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                              I think it would be a mistake to think that all of Hebbert/Bond's comments about the medical evidence are attempts to understand the crime; some of these comments are probably designed only to help the police identify the victim.

                              For instance, knowing if the woman ever gave birth would come in handy if 12 different families showed up at the morgue, thinking the victim was their lost daughter/wife/mother. If one of the theoretical 'matches' was known to have had three children, she could be eliminated as the Regent Canal victim. So these comments about the state of the uterus are not necessarily made strictly for the benefit of determining cause of death.
                              Yes, good point and I suspect you're right and that was the primary reason, but the information becomes informative to an investigation if unusual patterns start to emerge, such as if all of the victims were pregnant, which they weren't of course, that would also end up being important because it starts to point to a series. But what information ends up being important to an investigation is not always obvious at first. Simply being dismembered, while that is one pointer to a series (because it's rare), isn't enough to confirm it (because it isn't that rare). If there was a series, there would be other indications. For us, looking with hindsight, evaluating whether or not this even is a series benefits from what is in the reports, and often we long for information that is not clearly stated one way or the other. I'm not seeing a lot jump out screaming all definitely related though.

                              - Jeff

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                                I think it would be a mistake to think that all of Hebbert/Bond's comments about the medical evidence are attempts to understand the crime; some of these comments are probably designed only to help the police identify the victim.

                                For instance, knowing if the woman ever gave birth would come in handy if 12 different families showed up at the morgue, thinking the victim was their lost daughter/wife/mother. If one of the theoretical 'matches' was known to have had three children, she could be eliminated as the Regent Canal victim. So these comments about the state of the uterus are not necessarily made strictly for the benefit of determining cause of death.
                                Good point RJ. Hebbert's 1888 and 1889 published lectures covering the four cases that were eventually shared with Dr Harris in Boston for inclusion in the 1894 Medical Jurisprudence book, were concerned with the question of identity of the dead, something that Hebbert had a particular interest in , calculating heights etc. Also, Hebbert does not include any details of the rolled up linen square supposedly found in the lower pelvic or back passage area on a portion of the recovered remains of Elizabeth Jackson, in his lectures.
                                Bond himself was involved in the identification of Harriet Lane, Wainwright's victim when Wainwright was caught after he dug Harriet's remains up from their original hiding place, buried in the yard of his brush making business premises and tried to take them elsewhere. Bond was involved in controversial observations of Harriet Lane's uterus to determine if she had borne children. Working form memory, Bond used the writings of a well known obstetrician in determining a previous birth and that expert was there to give expert evidence of the opposite himself....something along those lines anyway.
                                ,,`,, Debs ,,`,,

                                I am not DJA. He's called Dave.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X