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Profiling The Ripper

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  • Profiling The Ripper

    Researchers and authors John Malcolm and Jon Lee Rees join Jonathan Menges in a discussion about behavioral and geographic profiling.
    Does profiling have value when applied to the hunt for Jack the Ripper?

    Click image for larger version  Name:	92bdf310-2679-4bdb-b9b1-e0909e3f492a.jpg Views:	0 Size:	180.1 KB ID:	719217

    Available to stream or download now from the following link:

    Also in Overcast, Castbox, Apple & Google Podcasts, and wherever else FREE roundtable discussions about the Whitechapel Murders can be found.

    Thanks to John Malcolm and Jon Rees for participating in this discussion...

    And Thank You for listening,


  • #2
    One of the most comprehensive pieces ever on profiling the Ripper in two parts: Murder Most Foul

    Ripperologist 153 and 154.


    • #3
      A very interesting talk, folks. Many thanks.

      PS: To Jon Rees and others for info, the "braf" in "Cwrw Braf" rhymes with "starve", not "staff". </pedantry>
      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)


      • #4

        First observations:

        Concerning geography
        1. Virtual geoprofiling is useful to narrow down the theatre of operations and produce a probable "lair"/home for our man.
        2. Geographical aspect of the profile 'after' the murders has no other practical aspect than to confirm the perpetrator was local, not just living "there".
        3. Geographical vicinity is strengthened by physical vicinity. This de facto excludes the absurd notion that these women didn't know each other.
        4. Expansion of geographical correlation to prior attacks at Spring expands the pool of victims to include prior women. There is further correlation on MO
        5. The killer's comfort zone is valid with prior Spring attacks.
        6. The decreasing more sporadic post-MJk are also included in the geographical pattern with sufficient consistency.
        7. This does not include torsos and floating half corpses whatsoever.

        Concerning time (the mirror image of space in the ST 2-D system)
        1. The time window of the events is narrowed down to a few months, expanded to 2 more years with each victim per year as the pattern fades out to the completion of the task. Swift attacks at spring 1888, climax at the autumn of terror, settling score with loose ends in subsequent period.
        2. Time window is very narrow on all known murder attacks, successful or otherwise, regardless of extent of mutilation.
        3. Narrow time window ensures (1) minimization of any physical evidence down to near-zero (2) swift entry and exit of a crime scene (3) very little witnesses and if any, hardly credible due to speed of events
        4, The time aspect demonstrates that the killer is more of an agent in an operation than a sex offender/lunatic. This is precise, designated, deliberate, controlled. This is a plan carried out swiftly by a man on a mission.

        Concerning psychology
        1. None of the contemporary doctors attached to the case produced any serious profile or even cared to, at best they thought of the man as insane and sex-driven.
        2. Debates of doctors at inquests/assisting police (when they were not disagreeing with each other) were as to whether there was always one knife, one and very specific course of mutilating actions.
        3. Analysis of the perpetrator revolved mostly around his medical skills and the degree of said skills.
        4. Contemporary medical approach ignored (1) the swift termination of the victim's life BEFORE any mutilation (not a sadist), (2) lack of any direct or indirect gratification (purpose was to shock spectators and terrorize a small group of them with inner workings) (3) why these locations were chosen, (4) why these DATES were chosen (mmmkay a weekend but why "this" and not "That"). A contemporary newspaper was more spot-on, two days before the MJK murder (one and a half, one might say). Interestingly, this was also declared by Dr. Winslow (1910, so it is de facto in retrospect) who identified the time cycle of the the dates as did that newspaper.
        5. Dr Winslow is the first to provide a bold, if flawed, profile of the man.
        6. Dr Winslow employed that profile to expand the number of victims way beyond the monolithic "five".
        7. Dr Winslow's time window coincides with the mirror image of geographical correlation and purpose of the killer (to deflect the schemes of a few greedy folks at Whitechapel who employed sad drunk desperate prostitutes who were on their hands for reasons not needed to expand on in this thread).
        8. Douglas profile is spot on in some truly "common sense" areas, that still get scorned (!) by some policemen who think all starts and ends in "caught in the act" or "i watched him do it" situations. Goes to prove why Dahmer and others slipped out of their hands in their faces. Profiling provides the general pattern hence the ability ot strike pre-emptively.
        9. Douglas profile fails when assumes that the killer was a sex offender with a purpose for gratification.
        10. Detached childhood (Dahmer), weird relationship with parents and especially mother (Bundy) is present in our man. Such background also breed professional military special-forces assassins and field agents with no strings attached. This is where the profile coincides with our man.
        11. The argument of "sheer physical force" when dealing with confused, desperate, middle aged alcoholic prostitutes driven in a scheme way over their heads is overblown. A disciplined trained man with a purpose can fit the image conveniently. As could almost anyone else in Dorset street with a temper and a pint (and there was too many of them) --- but such "skills" alone do not complete a swift set of operational attacks.
        12. Douglas profile and sex offender serial killers continue until arrested, usually because they lose grip on their tactics/antics and their delusional megalomania goes unchecked, causing them to fall short on their misbeliefs. Bundy thought he could seriously represent himself in court, or later on, hold off his execution by admitting to crimes, areas of further bodies and addiction to pornogrpahy (lol, good one Teddy boy). Zodiac thought his ludicrous puzzles demonstrated genius instead of pathetic confused loner with too much time on his hands. Ian Brady thought he could redecorate his house with blood in front of a disciple who could just go to bed as if nothing happened and not go to the police (!). Until their madness betrays them, and they get arrested....Or, if they die abruptly. Our man here never lost hold. The MJK butchering was not the beginning of a downfall leading to expose, arrest, or asylums. It was disciplined, as was the laying low afterwards. He never went ranting mad. We would have known. Leave them barbers, polish jews and hairdressers/wigmakers at peace (they suffer enough already).
        13. Our man is deranged, in the sense that he has no moral restraint as to the fulfillment of the plan. Like the hideous Reinhard Heydrich, cold, methodical, brutal in a clinical way. But way more cautious than that pompous fascist creep.
        14. The first full fledged mutilation that initiates the climax of terrorism, Tabram's murder, holds specific weight for the killer as a time instance. This is the transition from phase I (Spring attacks) to the next phase of the terrorism (since the scheme devised against him and the interests he represented seemed to go on after the first storm was tried to be covered up by those who pimped/guided these unfortunate women). These specifics of the killer, are where motive becomes distinct from the purpose. Those distinctions provide the deranged singularity of the murderer. That, and his only other public act of terrorism -- the Lusk letter.
        15. Handwritting forensics from a psychiatric point of view , the direct reference to the Letters from Hell book (a jolly read, yes?) and the erased (hence failed to provide public outrage as planned) graffiti provide the canvas of this deranged personality. It is "in character", but to do so he dives in his soul. Method acting, from the heart.
        16. Too much attention on that boring dilemma of medical skills (or not). Wrong angle. A disciplined solider can learn fast "some basic knowledge" which was the only level of medical "Awareness" recognized by the medical doctors studying the mutilations. More dramatic and difficult to achieve was that "special ops" skill of entrying and exiting a crime scene around policemen on a beat, plaincloth officers, vigilantes and ruffians of all sorts and trades. Simply being local doesnt cut it. A nerdy medical student wouldnt know where to turn. A sex offender would be tempted to either prolongue the pain before death or indulge in the mutilations. Our man was always restrained. He knew when, for how long, and how. And mostly, he knew WHERE. Locations were chosen beforehand, probably scouted in prior excursions to screen and decide on efficiency.
        17. Antisemitism was classic tactic of decoy (special ops again?). What better confusion in an area where poor Jews resided en masse? And sadly in Europe antisemitism was already rising as a tendency both in the lower stratta and the aristocracy/capitalist elite, with the known catastrophic results some decades later. but for our man, antisemitism is a tactic, a manouver choice, like his "cannibalism". See however that in the letter he doesnt belittle women OR the police? This is an act of terrorising the locale by taunting their hero of the day, the self-proclaimed vigilantes' head, the only one with local knowledge and (some, at least) street wisdom to protect the prostitutes (and possibly to make them share the blackmailing scheme with them -- a nice way out of bancrupty, Mishter Lusk?).
        18. Our man was the opposite of these ladies --- he probably abstained from alcohol. Like a good special-ops, a sober mind is a swift and efficient mind (albeit a tiny deranged, ja?). On the contrary, he would make sure his victims were neatly disoriented (another aspect of special ops). The suggestion that he "had a few" to "relax his inhibitions" before the murder is laughable. A relaxed mind gets caught. And this man had already no inhibitions. Nor needed to "transit" from a quiet phase to a loud, murderous, savage one. He was savage at all times, and quietly, viciously so. (Dr winslow failed here, lets give him due though for trying more honestly than some unsuitable folks with a penchant for memoirs, name-calling and miserable, inept asylum patients).

        I mean really, was our man someone who couldn't stop flexing his weenie? Or someone who had just landed from the South Pole or whatever?
        Oh wait, he exited the crime scene as a woman. Did he enter it as such or did we just discover the fastest crossdresser in history
        ("oh hi, here, Police Constable, hold me knif while i fix my victorian eyeshadow...smokey-eyes is "in phase" with Mitre Square, mmm? this IS City territory after all?")
        Yes, my humour sucks at the wee hours.