No announcement yet.

Torso Killer discussion from Millwood Thread

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sam Flynn
    Originally posted by JeffHamm
    Not sure if I've seen [Mei Trow's map], but I'll have search when I get the chance.
    Hello Jeff

    A couple of years back, I made a map of where the body parts were dumped or, more frequently, had drifted; note, however, that the Rainham torso would be waaaay off to the right, so it's not shown. Here's the map again, with the blue line, as I recall, representing the boundary of the Canonical Ripper murders.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?id=667187&d=1507543898.jpg Views:	0 Size:	103.6 KB ID:	702442

    Leave a comment:

  • Sam Flynn
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
    both series end at the same time with pinchin and mckenzie.
    For that to be true, we must believe that:

    1. McKenzie was a Ripper victim
    2. The Pinchin Street torso was deposited by the same perpetrator(s) as the West London torso dumps
    3. "The" Ripper and "the" Torso Killer were one and the same person

    It's all a bit circular, isn't it?

    Leave a comment:

  • Sam Flynn
    Originally posted by JeffHamm
    Ignoring the very large differences, and only looking at the similarities, will of course make two things look similar
    Especially when even the similarities are contentious or generalised to the point of obscuring the details, e.g. "took out hearts". Really? The torso killer took out the heart and the lungs of one victim, which was almost certainly a "thorax-emptying" exercise, not specifically targeting the heart for removal. It was the latter which happened to Mary Kelly, whose lungs were left in place and, barring the torn-off lower part of one lobe, intact.

    Leave a comment:

  • JeffHamm
    Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
    Since Jeff has moved the discussion here, I will give my answer to both him and Kattrup on this thread.

    I earlier listed a large collection of similarities inbetween the Ripper and the Torso series:

    Same town.

    Same time.
    This isn't a coincidence, this is part of the selection criteria for comparing the two possible series.

    Ripped from sternum to pelvis.

    Took out uteri.

    Took out hearts.
    But left the uterus at the crime scene in Kelly's case and took it away in Chapman's and Eddowes' case. Only removed the heart in Kelly's case.

    None of the parts taken from any of the JtR crimes were ever located, while you have been arguing that the Torso Killer goes to great lengths to ensure the body parts are discovered by throwing them in the Thames, or putting, possibly burying, them in vaults deep in basements. JtR takes and, based upon what we know, appears to keep the bits he takes away, the Torso Killer scatters the bits he removes.

    Cut away abdominal walls in large flaps.
    Not with Nichols, not with Chapman, not with Eddowes, only with Kelly. While one could suggest this is because Kelly is the only indoor crime of the JtR series, and so the only time in which the time was available for this. However, the portions of legs recovered from the torso victims, however, showed no large defleshing of the legs, as per Kelly. Kelly showed no removal of the limbs, as per the torso victims.

    By picking and choosing from injuries inflicted on Kelly, given the extensive injuries inflicted upon her, it becomes far less surprising that you can find some in common when you start with the torso victims and then look to Kelly for matches and ignore the evidence when a match isn't found; the injuries that define the torso series, removal of head, legs, and often the arms, you don't find any of those in any of the JtR cases (although you do find the suggestion there might have been a failed attempt at decapitation with Chapman). The problem is, if you go the other way and look for injuries inflicted on Kelly, like defleshing of the thighs, that never occurs in the torso series.

    Didn't use physical torture before killing the victims.
    That is true as far as I have seen.

    Took rings from victims fingers.
    Theft of personal belongs is so common a behaviour, it would be more informative if it didn't occur, otherwise it's meaningless.

    Were considered anatomical experts/surgeons by contemporary medicos.
    Not in the JtR series. The majority of the medical opinion was that some anatomical knowledge appeared necessary, but that it was of the sort that would be had by a butcher, knacker, hunter, or anyone else used to cutting up animals. The medical opinion was not that the expertise of a surgeon was required for the JtR series.

    Killed prostitutes.
    Again, prostitutes are a high risk group for physical violence. In addition, given the torso victims were not all identified, we don't know this about all of those victims. It is an assumption, and not entirely unreasonable, but it is not a fact.

    If we want to entertain the idea that there were two eviscerating serial killers who both opted for doing these things, it follows that we must accept that these similarities were coincidental.

    Not one of them.

    Not some of them.

    ALL of them. Each and every one.
    A lot of them are non-informative, such as taking of rings, etc. They are the kind of "similarities" one would expect to find when comparing any two serial murder victims. It's not uncommon for the victims to be prostitutes, to have items stolen from them, and if you specifically choose to compare two series in the same city and years, it is not a coincidence that they occurred in the same time and location.

    Ignoring the very large differences, and only looking at the similarities, will of course make two things look similar. It has to.

    But there are very large differences:
    1) none of the JtR series was pregnant, while Elizabeth Jackson at least was (and close to term)
    2) the torso victims were neatly disarticulated, and heads were removed - none of the JtR victims had limbs removed and the killer failed in their attempt to remove Annie Chapman's head (and either failed with Kelly as well, or didn't bother - this is very different behaviour)
    3) the body parts removed from the JtR victims were never recovered - the parts of the torso victims were, and this latter part forms a large focus of your proposed motives for the torso killer that the parts were absolutely intended to be found, and were placed in places to ensure they would be, like the Thames, and burried in basement vaults.
    4) facial mutilations in the case of Eddowes and Kelly are brutal attacks on the face, while in one of the torso victims it appears to have been a skinning of the face.
    5) JtR killed in the streets, the torso killer must have had a location in which he performed his murder and dismemberment.
    6) when JtR had the time (Kelly), he also removed large portions of flesh from the thighs (and there were deep cuts and injuries on Eddowes upper legs and her genital region as well) while these types of injuries are missing in the torso victims.
    7) as we discussed elsewhere, there are pragmatic explanations for dismemberment of a body - it is something that killers will sometimes engage in simply to aid them in disposing of the evidence and not be their primary motive; the mutilations in the JtR case, however, do not afford themselves to such explanations, they can serve only to satisfy some desire within the killer.
    8) JtR left his victims where they were killed; the torso killer transported body-parts and left them in other locations.

    None of these differences should be overlooked or ignored, they act as counter-weights to the similarities.

    I would argue that since there are no other examples of coexisting serial killers in the same geographical area with eviscerations on their agendas, that in itself is quite enough to weigh the scales down in favour of just one killer. And that is before we look at the specifics.

    A curiosity like cutting abdominal walls would on its own be quite enough to point unequivocally to a single killer. It plays in the same league as Charles Albrights gouging out the eyes from his victims. Add the rest and the case for one killer only becomes watertight.
    I actually agree with your first point in many respects. I do think that because of the rarity of serial killing in the first place, that considering the possibility that two series are in fact related is always a good idea. But if you approach that comparison by 1) two at the same time is really rare 2) I'll look to find some similarities 3) I found some so they must be related, then you will always conclude there's only one.

    But, if there are two, and one is JtR who is hacking and destroying his victims, focused upon the abdomen, genitals, and face, then the removal of Kelly's flesh over her stomach region is just part of that general destruction - just like the removal of large bits of flesh from her thighs, and the extensive attack on her face.

    The torso killer, who also may be killing for some private fantasy reason, or may be covering up deaths that occur due to some other aspect of their behaviour (the illegal abortionist, for example - I'm not pushing this, just using it as an example). In the latter case (the "pragmatic dismemberment" idea), then removal of internal organs (uterus, hearts, lungs, etc) is not surprising. It means when transporting sections of the body, you do not have as much fluids dripping from the organs, and so the opening of the gut cavity by cutting the length of it has to bed done in the course of sectioning the body for disposal. The removal of heads, and limbs, and the sectioning of limbs and the trunk, all serve that same purpose. The discarding of these bits in waterways, vaults, and over random fences etc, all serve to aid in the getting rid of the evidence from the possession of a killer who has a body and doesn't want it found on his premises.

    While there are some similarities, there are some very major differences. Also, there are explanations associated with the injuries shown during the torso murders that suggest practical explanations (the scalping and face skinning are going beyond the call of duty here I admit, that's weird and disturbed, but given this was then thrown away seems to point in the direction of hindering identification should the head be found. And given that other faces were not located, it may be that this was the only victim where this occurred, which would suggest there's a link between that victim and the killer).

    In my view, the differences between the JtR series and the Torso series outweigh the similarities and I wouldn't link them based upon what is known at the moment. Linking two series (or even two crimes) is a theoretical claim, and given the theoretical interpretations of the two series easily allows for them to be separate, the claim that they are not separate is unwarranted; they might be, but the evidence doesn't lead one to that conclusion. However, should further evidence arise (not hypotheses, but actual evidence), then that weighing of the evidence would be revisited.

    Anyway, I'm not saying I'm right. Maybe JtR and the Torso Killer were one in the same, but maybe they weren't. My view of the evidence, which clearly differs from yours and that's fine, is that the evidence makes the former an unsupported hypothesis and so it is safer to stick with the latter (this is because, if you investigate two series separately, even if they were committed by the same individual, you are not mis-directing yourself but if you erroneously link two series, you may actively create your own stumbling blocks - i.e. clear someone of a crime in series 1 and you erroneously exonerate them for series 2).

    But, that's what makes dealing with incomplete puzzle pieces does, it leaves you guessing at much of the whole picture, and a guess is a guess, no better and no worse.

    - Jeff

    Leave a comment:

  • Abby Normal
    Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

    Hi Fisherman. First let me thank you for a relatively toned-down post - even if you do call me unfair etc.

    Another thought could be that we would have to accept that many of the damages to the body mentioned above occur naturally as part of dismembering a body in order to dispose of it. So yes, we could easily accept that they were coincidental, because they occur in other murders and do not require any specific explanation.

    It's not been proven that evisceration was on both killers' agenda, though. Also, how large is the "same" geographical area you're considering? Given that we don't know where the Torso killer's victims were killed, I mean.
    What I aim to point is that "these things" are not proven. You're speculating about the above characteristics, they are not proven. Yes, it's proven (I concur) that rings were taken from the victims. But it's not proven that this implies anything, since everything else was also taken, and besides, taking jewelry from a murder victim was not surprising. So what I would seek to point out is that using your list of similarities as basis for any conclusions about the killer is premature. Concluding, for instance, that the killer is identical to Jack the Ripper. We don't know that, since the similarities you point out are theoretical.
    There's nothing wrong with pointing out these similarities and discussing them - it's when you start conjecturing on the basis of conjectures that I feel it is necessary to object.

    Okay. Well, I certainly agree with letting Lechmere go And I don't believe there's any strong evidence that there was single killer.
    The thing is that when one looks into it, there a lots of things and relationships that can be considered "flukes" and be imbued with some sort of meaning if we want them to. But they do not necessarily carry any meaning in themselves. For instance, the use of the name "Kelly" on a pawn ticket.
    I don't know what you're told, but what I would like to tell you is that you've offered no proof that it should be considered anything other than a fluke. You're merely assuming that the estate's relationship with Mary Shelley would be known to the murderer, that the novel Frankenstein would have meaning to the murderer and that he would choose that place to make a point instead of other places more directly related to Mary Shelley herself.
    A similar response to the above: I do not think you've shown why we should consider it more than a fluke.
    Probability is not very interesting in history, because either something happened or it did not. Whether you consider something very probable is not really relevant because what matters is what actually happened. Sometimes we can know what happened, sometimes we can know what did not happen. And other times we cannot know either one.
    I think this is a misunderstanding on your part, but I certainly understand how you might think so. I don't dislike what you say. I don't care if Lechmere was the torsoripper or not. I hope you're right because it would mean the case would be solved.
    What I do not like is your apparent lack of methodology and your apparent disdain for it. I think that some of your arguments are wrong, not because I dislike what you're trying to prove but because of how you try to prove it. You don't like a rigid application of strict methods - my theory is that you don't like it because it makes your own theories about Lechmere and the Torsoripper impossible to sustain - and I consider it absolutely essential. Therefore, we often disagree.

    Well, what I questioned was your statement that you believed the killer to be in his mid-thirties in 1887-89. Since the discussion had its outset in the Rainham torso, and you mentioned 1887-89, I assumed we were in the context of those torso cases alone. I therefore asked what evidence was there from that period that the killer was at least in his mid-thirties?
    Okay. Whether it is "normally" included in the tally is, I guess, depending on viewpoint.
    Okay. I don't think I was being unfair and incorrect in simply asking what evidence from the torso cases of 1887-89 excludes a man younger than 35?
    Okay. When you believe people to be wrong about their disagreement with you or their criticism of your arguments, I believe (in perfect honesty and without any wish to offend) that your posts would really benefit from choosing to focus on the first option you offer, namely that they're suffering from a misconception. The second, choosing to believe they disagree or criticise your arguments because they want to portray you as dishonest, does not to me personally seem to foster good relations with which to discuss mutual interests.

    Like you, I hope for many new and well-argued insights that advance our understanding of the case.

    I don't know if people missed it. But let me point out, in closing, that you're not proving anything. You're speculating. So Charles Lechmere's father in law was a lighterman. You believe lightermen were very knowledgeable about the currents and tides of the Thames and would know where flotsam would end up. Okay. So you should probably, first of all, work on justifying that belief. And then explain why one should consider that at all relevant to anything? Since there's no evidence that the body parts washed up anywhere in particular.
    Hi fish
    great post. I would just add some more to your list of similarities as i think they are important. I know some of the things you listed touch on them but i think they need to be pointed out specifically:

    post mortem mutilators
    cutting instrument primary weapon
    ruse used to lure victims
    body part trophies kept/ taken away
    and last but not least..and to your point about flukes/coincidences.. both series end at the same time with pinchin and mckenzie.

    Leave a comment: