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  • The case evidence and its implications

    I am often told that the Torso killer only took out organs from one victim, Liz Jackson. And that this would somehow and for some unfathomable reason point to how the Torso killer was actually not an eviscerator and mutilator. The idea, it would seem, is that he just happened to take a few odds and ends out of Jacksons body out of sheer mistake.

    Now, the fact is that there were many parts missing from the Whitehall victim too, just as there were parts lacking in the Rainham case.

    That means that these parts were either:

    -Taken out by somebody, or

    -Lost for other reasons.

    If we look at the Whitehall and Rainham cases only, I am all for leaving that question open, regardless of whether the parts are more or less likely to have gone lost one way or the other. This will be affected by things like how the parts are attached in the body, where they were situated on the torso parts, how long the torso had been rotting away and under what conditions, how it was handled by the killer and so on. But I choose to leave that conundrum open.

    However, once we KNOW for certain that Jackson had her uterus, heart and lungs actively removed by her killer, the weight of the evidence is shifted. Once we KNOW that this killer engaged in eviscerations, the far more likely thing must be that the organs lacking from the other victims were ALSO taken out by the killer.

    This is to no small degree also colored by how the Rainham victim and Jackson have so many similarities. In both cases, the torso was divided up in three parts, and in both cases heart and lungs were lacking, in both cases a section of the colon was missing. The cases are very twin like in these parts, and the only difference that stands out is that one victim lost her uterus while the other did not. Otherwise, the cases are very much mirror reflections of each other.

    Bearing that in mind, why would we NOT regard it as much more likely that the victims in the series who suffered organ loss all did so on account of eviscerations on behalf of the killer?

    It is not proven, but the balance of probabilities tells us that it is the likely thing. And that is not how the torso murders have generally been looked upon! They have instead, on account of the lacking insights of the victorians, gone down in history as examples of classical dismemberment, where the killers sole intention was to hide the parts and obfuscate the ID of his victims. Actually, to the degree that Hebbert himself said that one thing that told the Ripper apart from the Torso killer was that the Ripper took organs out. As if the Torso killer didn't...!?

    Changing this view is long, long overdue.
    Last edited by Fisherman; 04-04-2019, 08:29 AM.

  • #2
    I know that you are intent on finding anything that is similar to Canonical murders in these Torso murders Fisherman, but theoretical observations won't negate the obvious differences. Some of which may be critical to the killers MO. I contend that the evidence alone, without presumptions, suggests that Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman were killed by the same man in the same manner, and that he ultimately sought to mutilate the female abdomen. The killing isn't the only goal, the PM stuff is also. I think in the case of the Torso's, the killing is secondary to the dismemberments, but we have to consider that the killer killed the Torso women indoors in all likelihood. There may have been ritualistic elements there...he may have seduced the women to go somewhere..could be part of his "thrill"..we don't know how long he took to kill anyone of those victims...there may have been torture or rape as part of his thing. All speculative.

    If Jack the Ripper can be defined by any murders I suggest that they are Polly and Annie, and they are so very close in Victimology, MO, physical injuries and location, that we can extract some real information about what that killer was about. And the evidence suggests that he met women on the street who were selling their services, let them assume a business transaction, then, when the time feels right, he intended to quickly subdue the women, inflict fatal wounds, then mutilate the abdomens. Without any speculation, that is well supported conclusion. Which may well be fundamentally different motivations from what Torso man sought. In jacks case I think its undeniable that he either didn't realize the risks..due to psychological issues, or he did, and he liked it. I don't see that "thrill" seeker in Torso man, in fact he seemed to prefer the tedious, again, assuming the killing itself wasn't some "thrill" for him.

    Jack killed so he could have a specimen to work on. It appears that Torso man killed so he could take bodies apart.
    Last edited by Michael W Richards; 04-04-2019, 10:34 AM.
    Michael Richards

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
      I know that you are intent on finding anything that is similar to Canonical murders in these Torso murders Fisherman, but theoretical observations won't negate the obvious differences. Some of which may be critical to the killers MO.
      I am not "intent on finding similarities", Michael. They are already there in spades and they have been found by others than me. Once two women loose their uteri, that IS a similarity, not something that I am intent on making a similarity. Once two women loose their abdominal walls, it IS a similarity. And so on.

      Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
      I contend that the evidence alone, without presumptions, suggests that Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman were killed by the same man in the same manner, and that he ultimately sought to mutilate the female abdomen. The killing isn't the only goal, the PM stuff is also. I think in the case of the Torso's, the killing is secondary to the dismemberments, but we have to consider that the killer killed the Torso women indoors in all likelihood. There may have been ritualistic elements there...he may have seduced the women to go somewhere..could be part of his "thrill"..we don't know how long he took to kill anyone of those victims...there may have been torture or rape as part of his thing. All speculative.
      Once you take the "mays" and "could haves" away, you will note that you are left with two men who both killed in order to acquire a body to work on. Whether that happens indoors or outdoors, the driving force is similar.

      Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
      If Jack the Ripper can be defined by any murders I suggest that they are Polly and Annie, and they are so very close in Victimology, MO, physical injuries and location, that we can extract some real information about what that killer was about. And the evidence suggests that he met women on the street who were selling their services, let them assume a business transaction, then, when the time feels right, he intended to quickly subdue the women, inflict fatal wounds, then mutilate the abdomens. Without any speculation, that is well supported conclusion. Which may well be fundamentally different motivations from what Torso man sought. In jacks case I think its undeniable that he either didn't realize the risks..due to psychological issues, or he did, and he liked it. I don't see that "thrill" seeker in Torso man, in fact he seemed to prefer the tedious, again, assuming the killing itself wasn't some "thrill" for him.
      The Torso man could also have met women on the street and let them assume a business transaction, Michael. And as I have said umpteen times, the street killings may have nothing all to do with thrill, it could be all about attention seeking. Then what happens to your reasoning about differences? Poof - gone!


      Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
      Jack killed so he could have a specimen to work on. It appears that Torso man killed so he could take bodies apart.
      How is that not being having a specimen to work on in the Torso killers case....?

      More pertinently, you still haven't answered the question that led on the thread: Is it not the logical thing to do to work from the assumption that a killer who we know has eviscerated and taken out organs from one victim also lies behind the lack of organs in the other victims? THAT is what this thread is about.
      Last edited by Fisherman; 04-04-2019, 11:27 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
        It appears that Torso man killed so he could take bodies apart.
        The torso killer(s) killed for whatever reason(s) they may have had, but the taking apart of the bodies seems to have been purely a practical way to facilitate disposal. Whoever he/they were, they probably didn't have a "crawlspace" in which to hide the bodies, or a garden in which to bury them. He/they certainly had access to a private enough place in which to kill and take his victims apart, which is a luxury that Jack the Ripper almost certainly did not possess.
        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

        "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
          Now, the fact is that there were many parts missing from the Whitehall victim too, just as there were parts lacking in the Rainham case.
          Remind me....which parts were missing from the Whitehall torso?

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          • #6
            I know I've been away from these threads for sometime but I still retain an interest in the Torso/JtR hypothesis. And let me say, in the spirit of objectivity, that whilst I don't agree with Christer's argument, nor would I dismiss it out of hand. Put simply, it's at least possible he might be correct, and it's certainly a difficult argument to break down!

            This may be going somewhat off topic, and for that I apologize, but one of Christer's main arguments is that Jackson, Chapman and Kelly are linked by virtue of pieces of their abdominal walls being removed and that, furthermore, this pathology is unique.

            Well, it's certainly rare although, of course, there are major differences in the way these respective mutilations were inflicted, and possibly different purposes: Kelly seems to have been simply hacked to pieces, whilst Jackson, contrastingly, had two irregular pieces removed from the abdomen, in which were attached the uterus etc.

            But is it unique? I would say not. Thus, Robert Napper, in what was described by the prosecutor as a case of which had "chilling similarities" to the murders of JtR, cut open the body of one of his victims, from chest to genitals, and removed and took away a piece of her abdomen, presumably as a trophy. See:
            http://courtnewsuk.co.uk/robert-napper/.

            Of course, it's just one piece, not two, as in the case of Jackson. But if the lesser is to be excluded from the criteria than, logically, so should the greater!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

              Remind me....which parts were missing from the Whitehall torso?
              I couldn't list them in detail, Joshua, but apart from the uterus it was said that a number of pelvic organs were lost. Maybe Debra can fill in the details.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by John G View Post
                I know I've been away from these threads for sometime but I still retain an interest in the Torso/JtR hypothesis. And let me say, in the spirit of objectivity, that whilst I don't agree with Christer's argument, nor would I dismiss it out of hand. Put simply, it's at least possible he might be correct, and it's certainly a difficult argument to break down!

                This may be going somewhat off topic, and for that I apologize, but one of Christer's main arguments is that Jackson, Chapman and Kelly are linked by virtue of pieces of their abdominal walls being removed and that, furthermore, this pathology is unique.

                Well, it's certainly rare although, of course, there are major differences in the way these respective mutilations were inflicted, and possibly different purposes: Kelly seems to have been simply hacked to pieces, whilst Jackson, contrastingly, had two irregular pieces removed from the abdomen, in which were attached the uterus etc.

                But is it unique? I would say not. Thus, Robert Napper, in what was described by the prosecutor as a case of which had "chilling similarities" to the murders of JtR, cut open the body of one of his victims, from chest to genitals, and removed and took away a piece of her abdomen, presumably as a trophy. See:
                http://courtnewsuk.co.uk/robert-napper/.

                Of course, it's just one piece, not two, as in the case of Jackson. But if the lesser is to be excluded from the criteria than, logically, so should the greater!
                First: We should not claim to know that there were major differences in the way the mutilations of the abdominal walls was inflicted on the three Ripper/Torso victims. We don't, do we? Overall, there were differences, we all know that, but when it comes to the taking away of the abdominal walls, we simply do not know how much alike these mutilations were inbetween the cases. The only difference we are aware of is that Jackson had two flaps removed, that Kelly had three and that Chapman had four, with one gone missing in the latter case.
                That in itself must be regarded as being of very much less importance than the sheer fact that the abdominal walls WERE taken away.

                I have not said that the taking away of abdominal walls in flaps is unique to the Ripper/Torso cases - I have said that it is rarer than hen´s teeth, and it is. If Napper did it, then he belongs to a very exclusive club with precious few members. It seems that Jeffrey Dahmer could be another one, and we have one cannibal listed as doing it too (for reasons of eating the abdominal wall - he was curious about how the different parts of a body tasted...), so there ARE examples. They are, though, rare in the extreme.

                Couple that with the other similarities - the fewest serial killers cut up an abdomen at all, let alone from sternum to pubes, very few serial killers cut out uteri, even fewer cut out lungs and hearts. BOTH men did this in BOTH series, and so I am personally of the view that the suggestion of two such creatures roaming the London streets - supposedly with totally different agendas and mindsets and temperaments to boot! - is ridiculous.

                Now, don't take that as an offense - I don't regard you as ridiculous, far from it - but the suggestion is so much over the top that it makes me wonder why anybody would latch onto it. It owes, I am sure, to a large degree to how history has been written. Which brings me to the question I want answered out here: Is it not logical to make the assumption that all organs that went lost in these murders were taken out by the killer, on account of how we KNOW that he took out lungs, heart and uterus from Jackson? Surely, that must be the logical assumption to make?

                Any answers to that one? Or are people avoiding the question?
                Last edited by Fisherman; 04-04-2019, 02:27 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                  First: We should not claim to know that there were major differences in the way the mutilations of the abdominal walls was inflicted on the three Ripper/Torso victims. We don't, do we? Overall, there were differences, we all know that, but when it comes to the taking away of the abdominal walls, we simply do not know how much alike these mutilations were inbetween the cases. The only difference we are aware of is that Jackson had two flaps removed, that Kelly had three and that Chapman had four, with one gone missing in the latter case.
                  That in itself must be regarded as being of very much less importance than the sheer fact that the abdominal walls WERE taken away.

                  I have not said that the taking away of abdominal walls in flaps is unique to the Ripper/Torso cases - I have said that it is rarer than hen´s teeth, and it is. If Napper did it, then he belongs to a very exclusive club with precious few members. It seems that Jeffrey Dahmer could be another one, and we have one cannibal listed as doing it too (for reasons of eating the abdominal wall - he was curious about how the different parts of a body tasted...), so there ARE examples. They are, though, rare in the extreme.

                  Couple that with the other similarities - the fewest serial killers cut up an abdomen at all, let alone from sternum to pubes, very few serial killers cut out uteri, even fewer cut out lungs and hearts. BOTH men did this in BOTH series, and so I am personally of the view that the suggestion of two such creatures roaming the London streets - supposedly with totally different agendas and mindsets and temperaments to boot! - is ridiculous.

                  Now, don't take that as an offense - I don't regard you as ridiculous, far from it - but the suggestion is so much over the top that it makes me wonder why anybody would latch onto it. It owes, I am sure, to a large degree to how history has been written. Which brings me to the question I want answered out here: Is it not logical to make the assumption that all organs that went lost in these murders were taken out by the killer, on account of how we KNOW that he took out lungs, heart and uterus from Jackson? Surely, that must be the logical assumption to make?

                  Any answers to that one? Or are people avoiding the question?
                  hi fish
                  yes its an entirely logical assumption to make, and not only that-but the most probable one IMHO.
                  "Is all that we see or seem
                  but a dream within a dream?"

                  -Edgar Allan Poe


                  "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                  quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                  -Frederick G. Abberline

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                    The torso killer(s) killed for whatever reason(s) they may have had, but the taking apart of the bodies seems to have been purely a practical way to facilitate disposal. Whoever he/they were, they probably didn't have a "crawlspace" in which to hide the bodies, or a garden in which to bury them. He/they certainly had access to a private enough place in which to kill and take his victims apart, which is a luxury that Jack the Ripper almost certainly did not possess.
                    Hi Sam (and MR)
                    keep in mind that there was no evidence of torture (or rape) and the bodies were cut up soon after death. and along with that no evidence of domestic type or botched abortion killings. add to that the arms/ leg left on a couple of the victims and missing internal organs. That would lead me to believe that the dismemberments were NOT just practical matters.
                    "Is all that we see or seem
                    but a dream within a dream?"

                    -Edgar Allan Poe


                    "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                    quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                    -Frederick G. Abberline

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                      Is it not logical to make the assumption that all organs that went lost in these murders were taken out by the killer, on account of how we KNOW that he took out lungs, heart and uterus from Jackson?
                      It's logical when you ask the question like that. One of my chief concerns of focusing on the Torsos is the sheer lack of information. There are reasoned arguments for why they are not committed by the Jack, and there are reasoned arguments for why they were.

                      Because it's up in the air and convincingly so, it simply isn't convincing one way or another.

                      Naturally people have their biases, but what difference does including the Torso as one killer make, other than thinning down the amount of potential suspects, which may indeed be a mis-step.

                      You raise points for similarities, but the points for difference are also noteworthy, ie. Where, difference in sexual motivation, and if we are to include Kelly, then the waters get muddier and muddier.

                      What I'd like to see, perhaps, to be persuaded, if you were to steelman an argument that the Torsos were NOT done by the same hand as the crimes oft attributed to the Jack, and then rebuke it, rather than simply what is above for the void to clatter against, which is far less interesting and far less persuasive;

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another similarity between the Ripper and the Torso Killer I believe gets discussed less than it should is that neither were ever caught. Its hard enough to believe that there was 1 infamous serial killer who committed so many crimes and had the skill, luck, and circumstances to never get caught for them, let alone 2 infamous serial killers.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                          I couldn't list them in detail, Joshua, but apart from the uterus it was said that a number of pelvic organs were lost. Maybe Debra can fill in the details.
                          Allow me to, then.

                          Description of the Whitehall torso from A System of Legal Medicine;

                          "It comprises the thorax and upper part of the abdomen, the head having been separated at the sixth cervical vertebrae, and the pelvis and lower part of the abdomen at the fourth lumbar vertebrae."

                          In other words, the remains consisted only of the trunk from neck to waist. The lower abdomen, ie the pelvis and all it may (or may not) have contained had been cut away and was never found. Therefore it's no surprise that "the lower parts [of the colon] were absent, as were the pelvic viscera" (which would include the uterus). However, the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach and small intestines were all present, as you'd expect

                          So, no organs appear to have been removed from the remains found. There's not even any mention of a vertical cut from ribs to pubis, present in other cases.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stacker View Post
                            Another similarity between the Ripper and the Torso Killer I believe gets discussed less than it should is that neither were ever caught. Its hard enough to believe that there was 1 infamous serial killer who committed so many crimes....
                            That's more a reflection on the police than the killer. It was much easier in the days before proper, organised policing, databases and forensic science.

                            Besides, there were many unsolved murders in different parts of London during the decade or so that the torso murders occurred - and the three months in which the Ripper murders happened - so neither the Ripper nor the Torso Murderer(s) was unique.
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stacker View Post
                              Another similarity between the Ripper and the Torso Killer I believe gets discussed less than it should is that neither were ever caught. Its hard enough to believe that there was 1 infamous serial killer who committed so many crimes and had the skill, luck, and circumstances to never get caught for them, let alone 2 infamous serial killers.
                              Hi Stacker
                              bingo. I have often brought up that point-that both were unsolved. whats the chances? and also, another thing that dosnt discussed enough IMHO-is both series ended roughly the same time in 89 with McKenzie and pinchin.
                              "Is all that we see or seem
                              but a dream within a dream?"

                              -Edgar Allan Poe


                              "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                              quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                              -Frederick G. Abberline

                              Comment

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