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Ep. 38- Killers on the Loose: Eliminating the Suspects

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  • Fisherman
    replied
    Ben writes:

    "And the person who decided to introduce cutaway coats and gas lamps into a discussion that had absolutely nothing to do with either was...?

    Ah yes."

    Correct, Ben: The guy who was once again attacked and pointed out as an obsessive stalker, and decided to do something about it.

    Fisherman
    Last edited by Fisherman; 01-15-2009, 10:53 PM.

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  • Ben
    replied
    It's a reasonable position. In my opinion, however, the preponderance of evidence suggests that she was not and I believe this is still borne out by the majority of scholarship
    Fair enough, Andy, but I honestly believe the reverse is true on both counts. The preponderance of evidence suggests very strongly that she was a victim of the miscreant that did for the others, and indications from other serial cases lend huge weight to this view from my perspective. I'd also argue that the majority of modern scholarship is also inclined to include her.

    As I understand this you are saying that the arguments of people like me who take pains to show that there is no direct conflict between Druitts known schedule and the canonical murders actually emphasizes the unlikely status of Druitt's candidacy
    Not at all. I've never challenged the argument that there is no known conflict between the murder dates and the movements of Druitt. The number of references to Druitt being away from London and in Dorset for the month spanning early August to early September would tend to suggest, as the most logical and parsiminious explanation, that he was there for the duration of that month, in my humle opinion. That's not the same as arguing that his presence in Dorset conclusively points to his being there for the duration.

    Furthermore, your own argument can be turned against you. If Druitt spent all of August in Dorset ostensibly to play cricket, then why is there no mention in papers that covered cricket in Dorset of him competing between 11 August and 1 September (the ambiguous "Druitt" on 22 Aug could have been any of the cricketing Druitts)?
    But there's no evidence of him playing cricket anywhere between those dates, with the possible exception of 22nd in Salisbury. What we do find is that on either side of those dates, we find him away from London and in Dorset, and that the time period that just happens to coincide with the holiday period before the Michaelmas term, just as his arrival back in the Capital just happens to concidence with the beginning of term.

    However, Montague Druitt was a man who made frequent trips between Greater London and Dorset both for professional and social reasons.
    Right, but that aspect of his candidacy is weakened quite markedly against suspects who can be shown to have lived and worked in the East End at the time.

    Best regards,
    Ben

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  • aspallek
    replied
    Well then Ben it appears that the real point of contention between us is the inclusion or exclusion of Tabram. However, this is different from the statement you made in the Podcast about the "tightness" of Druitt's cricketing schedule in relation to the murders.

    As to the "onus" to show why Tabram should be included I will leave that to the rest of the group to comment on. It is certainly my perception that she is generally excluded. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it is unreasonable to hold that Tabram was a Ripper victim. It's a reasonable position. In my opinion, however, the preponderance of evidence suggests that she was not and I believe this is still borne out by the majority of scholarship. Incidentally, I have been studying the Ripper murders for 20+ years and have never considered Tabram to be a Ripper victim. I have only favored Druitt for the last 4-5 years, so my view of Tabram is not shaped by my view of Druitt as a suspect.

    But back to your original Podcast statement which Christ transcribed thus:

    "it's argued that he [Druitt] could have made it back from cricket matches, but they reinforce the fact that it would have been very tight ..."

    As I understand this you are saying that the arguments of people like me who take pains to show that there is no direct conflict between Druitts known schedule and the canonical murders actually emphasizes the unlikely status of Druitt's candidacy. This is not true. My "arguments" are prompted by erroneous statements that have been made regarding Druitt's schedule. One such statement that was recently in print is "it is now known that Druitt was away from London playing cricket that the time most of the murders took place" (slight paraphrase but that's more than the gist). That's, in fact, patently impossible since "most of the murders" took place after the cricket season had concluded. When I see something like that in print I feel the need to set the record straight by saying that there is no evidence that Druitt was outside of Greater London on 31 August or 8 September (a date for which there is in fact evidence that he was in Greater London), let alone 30 September or 9 November. Responding to and correcting a factual error does not lend credence to argumentation based upon that error.

    Furthermore, your own argument can be turned against you. If Druitt spent all of August in Dorset ostensibly to play cricket, then why is there no mention in papers that covered cricket in Dorset of him competing between 11 August and 1 September (the ambiguous "Druitt" on 22 Aug could have been any of the cricketing Druitts)? In other words, why are several fixtures mentioned in that one week and then nothing thereafter until 1 September? One might conclude a plausible reason could be that he wasn't in Dorset playing cricket during those three weeks at all.

    Ben, for Druitt to be Jack the Ripper does indeed require quite a bit of travel on his part and there is not a lot of "extra" time for him to have made these journeys. That is a valid critique of any Druitt theory. It is one of the points that mitigates against him. All suspects have such mitigating points. However, Montague Druitt was a man who made frequent trips between Greater London and Dorset both for professional and social reasons. I don't see this mitigating point as any sort of crushing blow whatsoever.
    Last edited by aspallek; 01-15-2009, 07:28 PM.

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  • Ben
    replied
    From there on, it escalated and drifted away,
    And the person who decided to introduce cutaway coats and gas lamps into a discussion that had absolutely nothing to do with either was...?

    Ah yes.

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  • Fisherman
    replied
    Ally asks:

    "Why didn't you just do that to start with?"

    Because when the original disagreement between Ben and me emerged on this thread, it was connected to a thread-related issue; would the Ripper be too tired to go through with the Cricket game?
    From there on, it escalated and drifted away, and it would have been better if it all was moved earlier. Conceded point, Ally.

    The best,
    Fisherman

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  • Ben
    replied
    Ben, the appearances from 3 August to 11 August are essentially one appearance since I am conceding that he apparently spent that week in Dorset. Furthermore, since I have said all along that I do not count Tabram as a Ripper victim
    Which is a rather large problem for me, Andy, when it comes to considering Druitt a plausible suspect. Since I believe Tabram to have been a ripper victim, I'm disinclined to consider any suspect who in all probability was away from the murder district at the time of her death, doubly so when we consider that a good deal more police officials included her than excluded her.

    Then again, the fact that he was also away from London on 1st September and possibly the 22nd August too lends more weight, to my mind, to the conclusion that he was probably in and around Dorset for the period spanning 3rd August to 1st september, and that's it's no coincidence that he arrived back in London at the start of a school term.

    And, as a matter of fact, the onus is on you to show why Tabram should be included as a Ripper victim since she is still generally excluded.
    Absolutely no way.

    That is emphatically not the case. Tabram is not "generally excluded" and as such there is no onus whatsoever on me to show why she should be included. The majority of contemporary police officials included her in the tally, and certainly the majority of experts in criminology.

    Now you criticized me for accepting Macnaghten's word concerning the Druitt family suspicion so you must apply the same skepticism to your own reasoning.
    Macnaghten never stated as fact that the family were "convinced" Druitt was JTR; only that he didn't have much doubt that his own family believed him to be the ripper. That's not the same as claiming that Abberline must have been lying.

    Furthermore, Klosowski was not, insofar as we know, a "police suspect" at all. He was suspected by an ex-officer many years after the Ripper crimes were committed
    And the person suspected him actually worked on the case at the time and was a professional policeman, with neither being true of Macnaghten. Two years after the murders is still rather a long time for assessing suspect candidature.

    Regards,
    Ben

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  • aspallek
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben View Post
    Because you need examine the time frame in relation to the number of times Druitt can be pinpointed to a specific location. We have done so and noted that he appears five, porssibly six times on the historical record within the space of a month. If you consider that evidence in terms of a ratio - the length of time against the number of references - that isn't bad material to work with, especially in a 120 year old case. Yet none of those happened to coincide with him staying in London where he lived, but rather all happened in Dorset Street.

    I'm confident of the simplest explanation to that connundrum, but I'll cheerfully agree to disagree.
    Ben, the appearances from 3 August to 11 August are essentially one appearance since I am conceding that he apparently spent that week in Dorset. Furthermore, since I have said all along that I do not count Tabram as a Ripper victim, I am dealing only with the time frame from Druitt's Dorset appearances of 11 August to 1 September. His whereabouts before 11 August are irrelevant if Tabram is not a Ripper victim. This leaves us with a three week period in which Druitt must make one round trip between Dorset and London, a scenario quite reasonable.

    Now you want to attach a great deal of importance to the exclusion of Tabram. I will simply respond by saying all along that I have made that caveat. My contention is that if we are limited to the C5, Druitt is the most likely named suspect. If Tabram is included he becomes far less likely. Obviously, if any of the post-1888 victims are included Druitt is exonerated.

    So what we have boiled this down to Ben, is that you want to discount Druitt on account of Tabram. That's fine but then you are not addressing my conclusions about Druitt at all. And, as a matter of fact, the onus is on you to show why Tabram should be included as a Ripper victim since she is still generally excluded.

    What you are saying is that Druitt is not a flexible suspect because he loses his status if Tabram is included. With that I would agree.

    Yes. We know he was in communication with Macnaghten from his 1903 Pall Mall Gazzette article, and we learn from Abberline's own words that he was appraised of all the information pertaining to the case. If he claimed to know "all about" I see little reason to doubt him. I don't think Abberline did pick an inexplicably unlikely suspect. I'm not a big Klosowski fan by any means, but he's one of the better police suspect to my mind.
    No we don't know that. We know that's what he said. Now you criticized me for accepting Macnaghten's word concerning the Druitt family suspicion so you must apply the same skepticism to your own reasoning.

    Furthermore, Klosowski was not, insofar as we know, a "police suspect" at all. He was suspected by an ex-officer many years after the Ripper crimes were committed. Druitt, on the other hand, was the leading suspect of a serving police official and was first made known to police as a suspect barely two years after the conclusion of the murders.

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  • Ally
    replied
    (who will move the discussion to the Hutch thread where it arose if Ben keeps on arguing the inarguable)
    Why didn't you just do that to start with?

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  • Fisherman
    replied
    Ben writes:

    "I recognised your good point at the time, but then you had to keep plugging away"

    ,,,which you did not do, of course? You tried to point me out as being wrong, and I thought I was right. In such occasions, I debate, happily unwary of the fact that I am actually not allowed to challenge you.

    "you're going to get called those things if you say, in effect "Haha, I'm right, you're wrong, and if you don't accept it I'll just keep relentlessly repeating it" because that sort of antagonism is simply maddening"

    There is never any need for expression like "subhuman", Ben. And why is it wrong to state that I am right when I can actually prove that I am? The moment you admit I am right on this topic, the discussion ends. I couldnīt care less if that annoys you, since I favour truth over prestige.

    "Of course I didn't mean - and didn't say - that powerful light in general couldn't be generated"

    No, Ben, you said that there were no powerful gas lamps about in 1888. Read the thread, it is all VERY obvious. The element of those lamps not having been about in Dorset Street back then (and we canīt tell if they were or not) was introduced by you, to distort the discussion and lead it away from the fact that you had been effectively disproven.

    "And they weren't. Not on the streets of 1888 London, which was what we were discussing"

    No. No. No. No. NO! That was NOT what we were discussing. It was introduced by you LATER in the discussion, appropriately enough when you realized that it could be proven that there WERE powerful gas lamps about and that you had lost an argument out of ignorance. THAT, and that only, was what the discussion was about. You donīt get to change the rules in retrospect. It does not work that way. You were emphatically, and I have quoted you a number of times, denying that there were powerful gas lamps about in 1888, and you were wrong. W-r-o-n-g.

    Which is why I have to ask you again: Were there powerful gas lamps around in 1888? Had they been invented years before that? And leave out the streets of London, since they never belonged to the discussion in the first place. All you have to do is to undo your assertion "Powerful lamps did not exist until 1891 with the distribution of the gas mantle, which was more powerful. No naked open flame can be described as "powerful". Some many be more powerful than others, but none of them can be considered powerful in isolation. There were not powerful lamps available". As you can easily see, the question we were arguing was NOT whether they were around in Dorset Street (and once again, we cannot tell if they were). It was whether there were powerful gas lamps on the market by then.

    Fisherman
    (who will move the discussion to the Hutch thread where it arose if Ben keeps on arguing the inarguable)
    Last edited by Fisherman; 01-15-2009, 04:49 PM.

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  • Fisherman
    replied
    TWO threads, actually, jmenges. And you have a point, admittedly.

    The best,
    Fisherman

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  • Ben
    replied
    Nor did I, Ben - it all started with your inability to take a critical post from my side for what it was - a contribution to the debate.
    I don't fault you for that, and I recognised your good point at the time, but then you had to keep plugging away when you could have been addressing the arguments of other contributors to the debate which you must also have disagreed with.

    Yeah - coming from a man who calls fellow posters "subhuman" that kind of lacks subtlety, Ben...
    But you're going to get called those things if you say, in effect "Haha, I'm right, you're wrong, and if you don't accept it I'll just keep relentlessly repeating it" because that sort of antagonism is simply maddening, for obvious reasons.

    Powerful lamps did not exist until 1891 with the distribution of the gas mantle, which was more powerful.
    Since we're talking about gas lamps on streets, it should have been startling obvious that those were the types of lamp I was referring to. I doubt very much that they would be considered especially powerful today. Of course I didn't mean - and didn't say - that powerful light in general couldn't be generated; all you had to do was light a bonfire.

    You quote me again:

    There were not powerful lamps available
    And they weren't. Not on the streets of 1888 London, which was what we were discussing, as we learn from that source you dredged up, for which I was sincere in expressing my thanks, not "gloating". If you'd presented that piece of useful evidence without the invasive agenda of an unsuccessful attempt to prove me wrong, we'd have actually learned something interesting.

    So no, I don't think I was wrong on that issue, and I respectfully submit that it is rather obvious that I'm not. That doesn't mean I'm incapable of "being" wrong and revising my opinion, as I have in the past when comteplating issues such as the Lusk Letter. The opposing argument was more persuasive than my own, I felt, so I changed my mind.

    Glad the same thing happened to you viz a viz Fleming.

    "I'm "dead scared", Fish. Really I am."

    I know, Ben. I have realized that by now.
    Oh petrified, Fish. Which is why I get so intimidated by onslaughts from people sitting at their computers on the internet, and meekly back down all the time...

    So, Ben - were there powerful gas lamps around in 1888?
    No, mate.

    Not on the streets of London.

    We've learned that from a source you were kind enough to look up and share with us. I had an inkling that this might have been the case, and you found the source. Great stuff. We've all learned something as a result of your research efforts.

    Ben
    Last edited by Ben; 01-15-2009, 04:31 PM.

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  • jmenges
    replied
    Hi all,

    So, am I to believe a thread exists somewhere about lamps and cutaways?

    If so, maybe we can waltz over in that direction and leave this thread for discussion of the elimination of the suspects podcast.

    Thanks!

    JM

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  • Fisherman
    replied
    Ben writes:
    " Prior to this discussion, I had no inkling of any conflict"

    Nor did I, Ben - it all started with your inability to take a critical post from my side for what it was - a contribution to the debate.

    "for you to make insulting remarks about it now is hideously inappropriate"

    Yeah - coming from a man who calls fellow posters "subhuman" that kind of lacks subtlety, Ben...

    "I don't believe for a moment that you've proved me wrong"

    How hard can it be, Ben? You stated "”Powerful lamps did not exist until 1891 with the distribution of the gas mantle, which was more powerful. No naked open flame can be described as "powerful". Some many be more powerful than others, but none of them can be considered powerful in isolation. There were not powerful lamps available", and I provided you with 800 watts of enlightenment. If that is not powerful, I donīt know what is. You WERE wrong, Ben, you ARE every once in a while, just as I am. I really does not hurt all that much to admit it. Try for one sodding time - just one! - and you will see what I am talking about.
    And once again, I am not obsessed with calling you wrong - I am obsessed with the idea that we should favour correct information over prestige and ignorance on these threads. Powerful gas lamps were about in 1888, and had been so for a number of years. Take it in, please. It will not go away. It just wonīt.

    "I fondly recall how you engaged in your usual aggressive, hectoring "I'm right, you're wrong!" style of dogma when I proposed Fleming as a strong ripper candidate. You tried to shout me down, insisting that he wasn't...and he's now your favourite suspect."

    ...which is why I wrote an article in Ripperologist, freely admitting that I had thought the idea silly before, but that I had changed my mind. I phrased it "I may have been wrong". If I had had any certainty on the whole thing, I would have phrased it "I was wrong".
    See? I can do it. But you canīt, not for the life of you.

    "I'm "dead scared", Fish. Really I am."

    I know, Ben. I have realized that by now. And like I say, itīs not something you should have to expose yourself to. Just admit for once when you are wrong, and it will all go away. Promise!

    "I wondered why you always seize upon my observations for disagreement when there are certainly other points raised in the thread that you disagree with."

    It was a daft thing to do, Ben, especially since you have been trying to paint me out as a psychotic stalker before. Did you really believe that I would let such a thing go unchallenged, silently accepting it? Did you? And yes, I know that people were writing on the thread that Tabram is no Ripper victim. But must I pounce on everything that goes against my convictions? I think not. I was already engaged in debates with three other posters who I had challenged on a couple of things. And if people want to believe Tabram was not Jacks, then that choice of theirs is something that is very hard to disprove, and I have done my fair share of trying.
    To add the notion that the repercussions of an adrenalin kick may keep you wide awake for hours and perhaps days on end is another thing altogether, and it genuinely belonged to the discussion on this very thread, since it was suggested that the Ripper would have been worn out and tired after the Chapman strike.

    So, Ben - were there powerful gas lamps around in 1888? And did you, or did you not state that there were not? Therein lies the rub.
    The simple and obvious answers to those questions are already on the table. And the material is of such a character that it leaves no room for interpretations - 800 watt is something you canīt argue as being a weak light.
    You take pleasure in speaking about me being obsessed, donīt you, Ben? So let me tell you that the only obsession that has emerged while I put the facts on that table, is your obsession not to be exposed as ignorant on the topic. It has done you no good, however, as I have shown by now. Youīre exposed on the matter, Ben, and you must somehow come to terms with that.

    Fisherman
    Last edited by Fisherman; 01-15-2009, 04:18 PM.

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  • Ben
    replied
    although you are patently wrong produces such things
    Again with this "I've proven you wrong" delusion, which is completely obsessive. If you can try to avoid that fixation, we'll get along fine. I didn't introduce any hostilities on this thread, I just wondered aloud why you didn't seize upon the observations of others who you must also have disagreed with. Prior to this discussion, I had no inkling of any conflict; nothing could have been further from my mind when I expressed the opinion that it would have been tight for Druitt to have made it back from Hanbury Street to play cricket. It is implausible for many reasons, but since all of those reasons are inextricably linked to the issue of timing, I used the word "tight" - tight for the proposition to be plausible.

    I intended no ill-will when I expressed that opinion, and for you to make insulting remarks about it now is hideously inappropriate. I didn't intend for an endless debate to ensue purely as a consequence of me using a single word, but because I can seemingly hypnotise people into that sort of interminable debate at the click of the mouse and essentially dictate their internet activity for days, here we still are.

    You denied it out of ignorance, and I proved you wrong, once again not for the pleasure of seing you loose an argument
    Hmmm, again with that central theme of "proving me wrong".

    Besides being wrong, it's not helpful to either healthy relations or healthy discussion.

    Can't you see that there's a direct correlation between vitriol and those outlandish claims you make over and over again. I don't believe for a moment that you've proved me wrong, as your own sources demonstrate, and when you insist in a gloating manner that they have, I get very stroppy.

    Powerful lamps did not exist until 1891 with the distribution of the gas mantle, which was more powerful.
    Well, the gas mantle was only introduced in 1891 which would have been considered powerful even my today's standard, which wouldn't have been true of their flame predecessors. At the time of the murders in 1888, we learn that London was dark on account of poor lighting, occasioned by the fact that "powerful" lamps were not "available" on the streets of London in 1888.

    your disability to admit when you are wrong is more typical of a toddler in the bedwetting stages
    Which takes us back to yout central obsession, and the reason I strongly suspect that you'll use any thread to extend your obvious vendetta against me. I fondly recall how you engaged in your usual aggressive, hectoring "I'm right, you're wrong!" style of dogma when I proposed Fleming as a strong ripper candidate. You tried to shout me down, insisting that he wasn't...and he's now your favourite suspect.

    I'm "dead scared", Fish. Really I am.

    It took you two or three post to turn from calling my point a good one to start your old paranoid delusion thing again.
    I wondered why you always seize upon my observations for disagreement when there are certainly other points raised in the thread that you must also disagree with. You know full well that I never initiate any hostilities. All you were looking for was an excuse to continue them.
    Last edited by Ben; 01-15-2009, 04:07 PM.

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  • Fisherman
    replied
    Ben writes:
    "The fact that you've reintroduced two earlier acrimonious debates on a thread addressing a recent podcast is frankly more damning evidence in support of my "Fisherman has an ego, and is obsessed with people acknowledging that he is proven right when he isn't so follows certain people around" theory.
    And now here we are again. Another tiresome Ben versus Fisherman war, and I forsee many a long irrelevent anger-filled post to come."

    For reminders, Ben, you introduced the hostilities on the thread by implying that my reason for debating the subject of the thread was to get at you instead of out of an interest to contribute to the discussion. It took you two or three post to turn from calling my point a good one to start your old paranoid delusion thing again. So donīt blame me for diverting the thread - you do that very well yourself every now and then, donīt you?

    Fisherman

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