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  • Joshua Rogan
    replied
    Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
    It may well be, of course, that the killer was responsible for all lacking organs, many of which were also lacking in the Whitehall case. It certainly is tempting to accuse the killer in the Rainham case, since the division of the torso is quite similar to that in the Jackson case, and the same organs are lacking in both cases, apart from the uterus in the Rainham case.

    Then again there are organs lack ing from three out of the four 1887-89 victims, and the killer may well be the one that took them. That would mean he took organs from 75 per cent of his victims.
    On the other hand, if the killer didn't take them, the percentage goes down to 25%.
    I'm happy to acknowledge it's likely he did in the Rainham case, buy how many organs were missing from the recovered parts of the Whitehall torso?

    -Finally, we do not know - not you and not me - how the MO and the "psychological setup" looked in these series. Let's not pretend that we do, and let's admit that they may have been very much alike as well as very much alike.
    Hmmm. Seems we're left with "Holmgren's choice"!

    Leave a comment:


  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post
    Hi Abby,



    Do you know where your favourite authors live? I don't, and I doubt the killer did as well. Since walking around with a body part is quite risky, it's difficult for me to imagine a killer who does just that to make a point (or play a dirty trick) by throwing it into Mary Shelley's front yard.

    If the placement of the body parts in the torso series was done on purpose, what message do you think the killer wanted to get across?
    hi Bolo
    Thanks! I haven't quite put my finger on it. It might have been for some kind of message, or it might have been for other reason, only known to the killer. Maybe he was "polluting" the city, or areas that had meaning to him, with the parts, or marking his territory something like that. If he was trying to send a message it might have been to taunt or shock the police/public/press and deriving some pleasure from the stir it caused. One things for sure, IMHO he was not just dumping random, or just to get rid off. and certainly not trying to hide.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fisherman
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

    What Hebbert's conclusion about increasing skill once decapitation by knife was shown is that the minimum level of skill has just been evidenced to be higher then the minimum the evidence allows prior; it raised the bar in terms of skill one has to grant the torso killer(s). But, it doesn't mean that skill level was absent all along. However, given all of the other evidence of skill with breaking down a body, the evidence is also highly suggestive that the skill was there, and it is this last case that demonstrates it. The torso cases where a saw was used are an example of how the "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". The difference is that with JtR we actually have "evidence of absence", he tried to decapitate with a knife, and failed - that is evidence of absence of the skill.

    If you wish to interpret use of a saw as evidence of absence of the ability to do it with a knife, go ahead, but that is not a safe interpretation. While I could be argued to be stepping over the line as well (so fair call above on that), my step over the line is far smaller because it is based upon the rest of the skill shown by the torso killer(s) which can be argued, (as I have been doing), as evidence that the skill to decapitate with a knife is present despite them using a saw. That's the difference. I'm not rejecting him outright. He's just being a bit more conservative than I am, but we're not far off from each other.

    - Jeff
    Let's begin in the right end: It is not shameful to believe a source on one matter and not another. When we know for a fact that a view has been grounded on lacking or faulty insights, we MUST question its value.

    The attitude only becomes a problem when we rely on somebody in one instance but not in another, and the type of information is similarly grounded. One such example would be those who accept that Killeen described the damage done to Tabram in a correct and professional fashion, but choose to believe that he got it wrong when he said that two weapons had been used.
    He is competent, but he is not competent enough to describe a blade from the wounds he sees, that's the idea.
    In that case, I say it is cherrypicking de luxe, and I don't approve of it one bit.

    In Hebberts case, he was quite competent enough to describe the decapitation processes in the torso series, and we must accept what he says, because he saw it. When it comes to his beliefs about what made the originators of the two series tick, he is in deep water, because there was not psychological insight enough back then to form a full and true picture. We probably lack pieces today too, but we are much more advanced nevertheless.

    Moving on, when you say that it is not a safe interpretation that the torso killer could not decapitate by way of knife, I would say that since we have Hebbert telling us that this is the implication, it would be much more unsafe to throw him under the bus and say that we could somehow conclude from the rest of the cutting the torso killer did that he must have been an accomplished decapitator too.
    Hebbert saw the dismemberments, he saw how the limbs were disarticulated, he knew to a much, much larger degree than you and me how clean these disarticulations and cuts were - and regardless of this, he stated that the killer only learnt how to decapitate by knife in September of 1889. Why would not Hebbert realize that the killer must have been able to decapitate by knife, if it is as apparent as you want to believe?

    Have you asked yourself that question?

    Leave a comment:


  • Fisherman
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post

    The location of the Shelley estate close to the river and the circumstances of the dumping of a body part there look to me like an emergency drop, the kiler could have been disturbed while standing on the shore of the river and then went away with the part still in hand which he got rid of on the way on a spot where it couldn't have been seen on first sight.

    I don't think that the killer wanted to taunt anyone but just get rid of the bodies.
    Is that the "psychological setup" you are speaking about as if it was a fact...?

    Leave a comment:


  • Fisherman
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post
    Hi all,

    I've re-examined Hebbert's dissertations on the four torso murders of 1887/88/89 and took quick notes for each victim with emphasis on the skill level and methods, organs that had been removed, type of tools, personal data, dates the parts were found and the approximate time of death. The similarities between the torso cases are obvious, at least in terms of skill level and age group. There may be a progression or more efficient appliance of skill from the first to the last case.

    The number of organs that had been removed was higher in the first case than the others. I'm linking this with the progression/appliance of skill, the murderer possibly found out that he did not have to remove certain organs to successfully dismember the bodies so he probably saved himself some time in the other cases. Since Hebbert says that the way the bodies were cut up and dismembered showed the skills of a butcher, slaughterer, horse-knacker or hunter, the perpertrator may have partly disembowelled the body of the first victim according to the standard procedures of his profession or comparable experience level.

    In cases where a saw was used, the tool in question had a fine-toothed blade so it wasn't a crude wood saw as I initially thought (dunno where I got that from). A saw like that is capable of cutting through tissue, organs and bones when used carefully so I have to retract my assumption that organs were removed in order to make cutting up of the bodies easier.

    I agree with Hebbert's opinion that the organ removal and dismembering were done to prevent identification and make the bodies easier to transport to the spots where they were thrown into the river or dumped at various locations on land. This also goes for the absence of the heads. I don't see any ritualistic significance here.

    Although dump sites like the Shelley estate, the construction site of New Scotland Yard or Pinchin Street could have been deliberately chosen to mock the police or general public, the small number of these controversially discussed dumpings does not give me the impression of a killer who was keen on publicity.

    As for the theory that the Ripper and torso killer were the same man, I have to say that I still fail to see the connection between the two series. The first torso case of 1887 already showed a relatively complete set of professionally learned or otherwise acquired skills that I can't see in the Ripper cases from Tabram to Nichols and access to tools like a very sharp knife and a saw as Hebbert mentioned (while Tabram was stabbed with a knife the size of a pen knife + dagger-style weapon and the knife in Nichols' case was only moderately sharp).

    In the Chapman and Eddowes cases, the majority of the mutilations were done to get in possession of certain organs, coupled with an increase in violence (Kate's facial mutilations). Violence increased even more in Kelly's case whose body and parts thereof looked like they had been arranged for the highest possible shock value. The murderer also took her heart with him, maybe as some sort of trophy. No such thing as shock value in the torso cases as far as I can see.

    With the exception of the first torso case from 1887, no particular organ removal took place, except for a bit of intestines here and there so I think it's safe to say that getting hold of organs was not what Torsoman wanted. He could have done so in other cases but obviously did not want to because he probably saw now practical need for it.

    Even with the 187x and 1884 cases taken into consideration as well, my impression stays the same. Except for facial mutilations in the 1873 case, the similarities to the later Torso cases are there but not to the Ripper's. Facial mutilations in 1873? What does that tell us about the same type of injuries that did not occur before Eddowes in the Ripper cases? At the very least, it's difficult to match to the Ripper timeline of skill and interest progression.

    It has been said that the probability of two or more disembowelling/dismembering serial killers at large in one area at the same time is very small. However, the modus operandi and psychological setup of each series are quite different - Methodical, thoughtful and keen on hindering ID in one series, practically orientated (Torsoman), swift, savage and regardless of ID in the other, out for organs (Ripper). So different, in fact, that I have no qualms about opting for two different men.

    That's my revised take on it.

    Regards,

    Boris
    A few remarks:

    - There is no evidence that the organs lacking form the Rainham victim were removed by the killer. What Hebbert says is that these organs were not present in the body, and that allows for the interpretation that they may have gone lost as a consequence of other things than a killer cutting them out. It is only in the Jackson case that Hebbert says "removed" about the heart and lungs, pointing a finger at the killer.
    It may well be, of course, that the killer was responsible for all lacking organs, many of which were also lacking in the Whitehall case. It certainly is tempting to accuse the killer in the Rainham case, since the division of the torso is quite similar to that in the Jackson case, and the same organs are lacking in both cases, apart from the uterus in the Rainham case.

    - Hebberts view about different originators is seemingly based on lacking insights into the underlying psychology of these types of crime, as well as a belief in criminal anthropology, so I would advice against over investing in that part. This is why In say that one not only could, but SHOULD ascribe different values to his judgment when we compare professional assessments of physical damage (where he would have been spot on) to amateurish guesswork based on lacking insights (where he may well be very much off).

    -If you can see no similarities in the handiwork of these killers, it remains that they did the exact same things to their victims nevertheless. That is the salient point. We do not have the victims to study, and so we cannot say just how skilled or unskilled the perpetrators will have been. We only know that the medicos professed to having seen great skill in both series, plus we know that a killer like the Gainesville Ripper, Danny Rolling, was deemed a full-fledged surgeon by the medicos who looked at his handiwork. And was he? No, he was a drifter with no medical/anatomica/surgical experience at all. The problem is that once somebody shows an ability to dismember, to decapitate by knife (which was what Rolling accomplished, the rest of this deeds was simply a flurry of stabs, nothing more), there seems to be a risk that medicos yell "surgeon!" I don't think that neither series point to a surgeon at work, but that both series point to a very speedy cutter, who could produce long, clean and sweeping cuts, and who knew hot to disarticulate limbs but not heads (until September of 1889). The same man, therefore.

    -You say that getting hold of organs seems not to have been what the torso killer wanted. Isn't that strange to say about somebody who intentionally cuts out a uterus a heart and a pair of lungs from a victim? Maybe what you mean is that it may not have been a general desire on his part? Then again there are organs lack ing from three out of the four 1887-89 victims, and the killer may well be the one that took them. That would mean he took organs from 75 per cent of his victims.
    The Ripper did so in 60 per cent of HIS cases.
    Maybe another revision is of the need, Bolo?

    -Finally, we do not know - not you and not me - how the MO and the "psychological setup" looked in these series. Let's not pretend that we do, and let's admit that they may have been very much alike as well as very much alike.

    Leave a comment:


  • jerryd
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post
    Hi Jerry,



    did not know that, thanks for the info. I've read in a press article that there still was some flesh left on the skull of the first 1884 finding but there was no mention of mutilations.
    Boris,

    Here is a press report I found awhile back.


    East London Press,
    November 8,1884





    Leave a comment:


  • bolo
    replied
    Hi Jerry,

    Originally posted by jerryd View Post

    Hi Boris,

    There were facial mutilations in the 1884 case as well. In fact, they were somewhat similar to Catherine Eddowes, imho.
    did not know that, thanks for the info. I've read in a press article that there still was some flesh left on the skull of the first 1884 finding but there was no mention of mutilations.

    Leave a comment:


  • bolo
    replied
    Hi Abby,

    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

    The difference in the different and widespread placing sites negate that idea IMHO in general. And spefically.. the killer had the river on his right side for a half a mile. He could have chucked it at any time. That it just happened to be in frankensteins garden at this so called emergency moment is too much of a coincidence for me.. especially since its the last part.
    Do you know where your favourite authors live? I don't, and I doubt the killer did as well. Since walking around with a body part is quite risky, it's difficult for me to imagine a killer who does just that to make a point (or play a dirty trick) by throwing it into Mary Shelley's front yard.

    If the placement of the body parts in the torso series was done on purpose, what message do you think the killer wanted to get across?

    Leave a comment:


  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post

    The location of the Shelley estate close to the river and the circumstances of the dumping of a body part there look to me like an emergency drop, the kiler could have been disturbed while standing on the shore of the river and then went away with the part still in hand which he got rid of on the way on a spot where it couldn't have been seen on first sight.

    I don't think that the killer wanted to taunt anyone but just get rid of the bodies.
    The difference in the different and widespread placing sites negate that idea IMHO in general. And spefically.. the killer had the river on his right side for a half a mile. He could have chucked it at any time. That it just happened to be in frankensteins garden at this so called emergency moment is too much of a coincidence for me.. especially since its the last part.

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
    Jeff Hamm: "You can't have it both ways..."

    What Jeff means here is that I am not allowed to listen to Hebbert on one matter but not on another.

    Jeff thinks that is cherrypicking and bad form.

    How he himself chooses to believe Hebbert when he says that the series were unconnected, while he refuses to believe him on how the four victims of 1887-89 tell us that the torso man was unable to decapitate by knife until the last victim in the series is apparently another matter...
    What Hebbert's conclusion about increasing skill once decapitation by knife was shown is that the minimum level of skill has just been evidenced to be higher then the minimum the evidence allows prior; it raised the bar in terms of skill one has to grant the torso killer(s). But, it doesn't mean that skill level was absent all along. However, given all of the other evidence of skill with breaking down a body, the evidence is also highly suggestive that the skill was there, and it is this last case that demonstrates it. The torso cases where a saw was used are an example of how the "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". The difference is that with JtR we actually have "evidence of absence", he tried to decapitate with a knife, and failed - that is evidence of absence of the skill.

    If you wish to interpret use of a saw as evidence of absence of the ability to do it with a knife, go ahead, but that is not a safe interpretation. While I could be argued to be stepping over the line as well (so fair call above on that), my step over the line is far smaller because it is based upon the rest of the skill shown by the torso killer(s) which can be argued, (as I have been doing), as evidence that the skill to decapitate with a knife is present despite them using a saw. That's the difference. I'm not rejecting him outright. He's just being a bit more conservative than I am, but we're not far off from each other.

    - Jeff

    Leave a comment:


  • Sam Flynn
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post

    The location of the Shelley estate close to the river and the circumstances of the dumping of a body part there look to me like an emergency drop, the kiler could have been disturbed while standing on the shore of the river and then went away with the part still in hand which he got rid of on the way on a spot where it couldn't have been seen on first sight.
    Indeed. It has all the feel of an emergency drop.

    Leave a comment:


  • jerryd
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post


    Even with the 187x and 1884 cases taken into consideration as well, my impression stays the same. Except for facial mutilations in the 1873 case, the similarities to the later Torso cases are there but not to the Ripper's. Facial mutilations in 1873? What does that tell us about the same type of injuries that did not occur before Eddowes in the Ripper cases? At the very least, it's difficult to match to the Ripper timeline of skill and interest progression.
    Hi Boris,

    There were facial mutilations in the 1884 case as well. In fact, they were somewhat similar to Catherine Eddowes, imho.

    Leave a comment:


  • bolo
    replied
    Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
    well-reasoned and I og course agree, just wanted to add that the idea that the torsos were dumped for shock is still rather underwhelming since itís not been shown that the Shelley estate was connected to the idea of Frankenstein, and the new SY building was originally meant for the national opera house and the papers on several occasions I believe referred to it as such. Meaning itís a bit rich to claim a killer chose it to taunt the police. This of course besides the idea that throwing stuff in the river was a way of showcasing it, which also seems somewhat ill founded
    The location of the Shelley estate close to the river and the circumstances of the dumping of a body part there look to me like an emergency drop, the kiler could have been disturbed while standing on the shore of the river and then went away with the part still in hand which he got rid of on the way on a spot where it couldn't have been seen on first sight.

    I don't think that the killer wanted to taunt anyone but just get rid of the bodies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kattrup
    replied
    Originally posted by bolo View Post
    So different, in fact, that I have no qualms about opting for two different men.

    That's my revised take on it.

    Regards,

    Boris
    well-reasoned and I og course agree, just wanted to add that the idea that the torsos were dumped for shock is still rather underwhelming since itís not been shown that the Shelley estate was connected to the idea of Frankenstein, and the new SY building was originally meant for the national opera house and the papers on several occasions I believe referred to it as such. Meaning itís a bit rich to claim a killer chose it to taunt the police. This of course besides the idea that throwing stuff in the river was a way of showcasing it, which also seems somewhat ill founded

    Leave a comment:


  • bolo
    replied
    Hi all,

    I've re-examined Hebbert's dissertations on the four torso murders of 1887/88/89 and took quick notes for each victim with emphasis on the skill level and methods, organs that had been removed, type of tools, personal data, dates the parts were found and the approximate time of death. The similarities between the torso cases are obvious, at least in terms of skill level and age group. There may be a progression or more efficient appliance of skill from the first to the last case.

    The number of organs that had been removed was higher in the first case than the others. I'm linking this with the progression/appliance of skill, the murderer possibly found out that he did not have to remove certain organs to successfully dismember the bodies so he probably saved himself some time in the other cases. Since Hebbert says that the way the bodies were cut up and dismembered showed the skills of a butcher, slaughterer, horse-knacker or hunter, the perpertrator may have partly disembowelled the body of the first victim according to the standard procedures of his profession or comparable experience level.

    In cases where a saw was used, the tool in question had a fine-toothed blade so it wasn't a crude wood saw as I initially thought (dunno where I got that from). A saw like that is capable of cutting through tissue, organs and bones when used carefully so I have to retract my assumption that organs were removed in order to make cutting up of the bodies easier.

    I agree with Hebbert's opinion that the organ removal and dismembering were done to prevent identification and make the bodies easier to transport to the spots where they were thrown into the river or dumped at various locations on land. This also goes for the absence of the heads. I don't see any ritualistic significance here.

    Although dump sites like the Shelley estate, the construction site of New Scotland Yard or Pinchin Street could have been deliberately chosen to mock the police or general public, the small number of these controversially discussed dumpings does not give me the impression of a killer who was keen on publicity.

    As for the theory that the Ripper and torso killer were the same man, I have to say that I still fail to see the connection between the two series. The first torso case of 1887 already showed a relatively complete set of professionally learned or otherwise acquired skills that I can't see in the Ripper cases from Tabram to Nichols and access to tools like a very sharp knife and a saw as Hebbert mentioned (while Tabram was stabbed with a knife the size of a pen knife + dagger-style weapon and the knife in Nichols' case was only moderately sharp).

    In the Chapman and Eddowes cases, the majority of the mutilations were done to get in possession of certain organs, coupled with an increase in violence (Kate's facial mutilations). Violence increased even more in Kelly's case whose body and parts thereof looked like they had been arranged for the highest possible shock value. The murderer also took her heart with him, maybe as some sort of trophy. No such thing as shock value in the torso cases as far as I can see.

    With the exception of the first torso case from 1887, no particular organ removal took place, except for a bit of intestines here and there so I think it's safe to say that getting hold of organs was not what Torsoman wanted. He could have done so in other cases but obviously did not want to because he probably saw now practical need for it.

    Even with the 187x and 1884 cases taken into consideration as well, my impression stays the same. Except for facial mutilations in the 1873 case, the similarities to the later Torso cases are there but not to the Ripper's. Facial mutilations in 1873? What does that tell us about the same type of injuries that did not occur before Eddowes in the Ripper cases? At the very least, it's difficult to match to the Ripper timeline of skill and interest progression.

    It has been said that the probability of two or more disembowelling/dismembering serial killers at large in one area at the same time is very small. However, the modus operandi and psychological setup of each series are quite different - Methodical, thoughtful and keen on hindering ID in one series, practically orientated (Torsoman), swift, savage and regardless of ID in the other, out for organs (Ripper). So different, in fact, that I have no qualms about opting for two different men.

    That's my revised take on it.

    Regards,

    Boris

    Leave a comment:

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