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A Petticoat Parley: Women in Ripperology

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  • Originally posted by harry View Post
    Lets look at the evidence,Paul,or lack of it as I see it.What kinds of evidence am I writing about.lets consider Nichols.
    First the evidence of confession.None.As the victim Nichols was dead and her killer did not come forward,we have no way of knowing what happened in Bucks Row.So no evidence Nichols was soliciting.
    Eye witness evidence.None.Except for the killer who did not come forward,no other person is known to have seen Nicholls after her meeting with Holland.Obviously no evidence there.
    Physical evidence of soliciting. None.
    Medical evidence of recent sexual activity.None.
    So,the accumulated evidence doesn't show she was engaged in prostitution at or before the time she was killed.Now do I look ridiculous? The personal remarks do not impress or worry me,I am just surprised a man of your reputation would resort to them.But then,you have nothing else of value to offer.
    Definate proof? I,believe all the victims are entitled to it.Without it,one can never be sure of the truth,and yes there are doubts.
    Trevor,
    Baron and I have every right to post for as long as is needed.Have we ever told you to cut it short.It's no more a fiasco than any of your claims.But look,you can offer evidence that Nichols solicited in Bucks Row,and I will consider it.You haven't so far.
    I refer to a previous post regarding how some of the victims came to be recorded on official police records as being a prostitute. and with that I refer to legislation and police procedures which were current in 1888 and go to corroborate all the other documented information previously discussed.

    Under the Metropolitan Police Act, 1839, every common prostitute, or night-walker, loitering, or being in any thoroughfare, or public place, for the purpose of prostitution or solicitation, to the annoyance of the inhabitants or passengers, is liable to a penalty of 40s.

    Under the Town Police Clauses Act, 1847, every common prostitute or night-walker loitering and importuning passengers, for the purpose of prostitution, is subject to a similar fine, or fourteen days' imprisonment in default.

    A constable may arrest, without warrant, any person whom he sees committing one of these offences. It is, however, necessary to prove that the woman is a common prostitute, and therefore the usual practice is that she should be cautioned the first time she is seen committing the offence, a note being made of the fact of the caution having been given.

    The greatest care is necessary in dealing with prostitutes. Women arrested under the most compromising circumstances often stoutly protest their innocence, and any appearance of arbitrary action is rightly resented by the public. It is therefore essential for police to be quite sure of their facts—habitual frequentation night after night, passing and repassing, overt solicitation (especially of youths or elderly men), noisy or indecent behaviour—before arresting. Even although a gentleman accosted and complaining to the police may naturally refuse to charge the offender, he may possibly consent to give his name and address to the constable for the private information of the magistrate.


    Therefore we must rightly assume that police action was taken against those victims who are recorded on police files as being a prostitute, and also explains why these victims used different names because if they were stopped by the police whilst soliciting they would know the procedure and give a false name to avoid arrest

    I think you both now have to accept that these women were engaged in prostitution as has been suggested all along, you have not one scrap of evidence to prove these women were not engaged in prostitution !!!

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

      I refer to a previous post regarding how some of the victims came to be recorded on official police records as being a prostitute. and with that I refer to legislation and police procedures which were current in 1888 and go to corroborate all the other documented information previously discussed.

      Under the Metropolitan Police Act, 1839, every common prostitute, or night-walker, loitering, or being in any thoroughfare, or public place, for the purpose of prostitution or solicitation, to the annoyance of the inhabitants or passengers, is liable to a penalty of 40s.

      Under the Town Police Clauses Act, 1847, every common prostitute or night-walker loitering and importuning passengers, for the purpose of prostitution, is subject to a similar fine, or fourteen days' imprisonment in default.

      A constable may arrest, without warrant, any person whom he sees committing one of these offences. It is, however, necessary to prove that the woman is a common prostitute, and therefore the usual practice is that she should be cautioned the first time she is seen committing the offence, a note being made of the fact of the caution having been given.

      The greatest care is necessary in dealing with prostitutes. Women arrested under the most compromising circumstances often stoutly protest their innocence, and any appearance of arbitrary action is rightly resented by the public. It is therefore essential for police to be quite sure of their facts—habitual frequentation night after night, passing and repassing, overt solicitation (especially of youths or elderly men), noisy or indecent behaviour—before arresting. Even although a gentleman accosted and complaining to the police may naturally refuse to charge the offender, he may possibly consent to give his name and address to the constable for the private information of the magistrate.


      Therefore we must rightly assume that police action was taken against those victims who are recorded on police files as being a prostitute, and also explains why these victims used different names because if they were stopped by the police whilst soliciting they would know the procedure and give a false name to avoid arrest

      I think you both now have to accept that these women were engaged in prostitution as has been suggested all along, you have not one scrap of evidence to prove these women were not engaged in prostitution !!!

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
      Trevor,
      Unfortunately, the legislation and police procedures define what a prostitute was and the appropriate police response, but they don't corroborate that any of the five were active prostitutes or engaged in prostitution at the time of their death. Also, neither Harry nor Rubenhold accepts as evidence the police records that state the victims were prostitutes, Harry because he says we don't know the evidence upon which the police conclusion was based, and Rubenhold because she believes the police branded all homeless and destitute women prostitutes. Rubenhold's argument has a little more merit if it is accepted that casual prostitution was a consequence of economic necessity and experienced by the majority of women of the victims' class in places of extreme poverty like the East End - in other words, that most women like Nichols and Chapman did what they had to do to make money, including occasional prostitution, and were automatically classed as such. I don't know whether that was the case or not and police historians might know, but I am not aware that the police routinely classed women like that.

      The bottom line, though, is that there is witness testimony that the victims were prostitutes, in two cases the women stated their intention of finding money at a time when it is reasonable to suggest that they were considering prostitution, and the places where they were found is suggestive of prostitution. This evidence and the inference placed upon it, is sufficient to have satisfied most reasonable people as to the probable activity in which the victims were engaged when they died.

      Comment


      • No,we do not have to assume anything Trevor.What is needed is to show,by evidence,that the victims violated those laws.That hasn't been done.The assumed evidence in this case are the files you claim exist.It appears by your post,you only assume action was taken against those victims.Show a copy of those files and you will have proven your claim.
        Was Nichols observed by a police officer soliciting in Bucks Row?Not to anyones knowledge.Were the other victims observed soliciting?
        I will repeat again,I have not claimed the victims were not,or could not have been prostitutes,so why keep asking me to prove something I have no knowledge of.It is up to posters like you,who are making claims they were prostitutes ,to produce evidence that they were..As a former police officer,what level of proof do you say that should be?
        No one should be asked to accept something that hasn't been proven.We have the absurb situation of something like 200 Jtr's because of false claims by authors.Claims that lack supporting provenence .That alone should make posters stop and think when it comes to a question of proof.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by harry View Post
          No,we do not have to assume anything Trevor.What is needed is to show,by evidence,that the victims violated those laws.That hasn't been done.The assumed evidence in this case are the files you claim exist.It appears by your post,you only assume action was taken against those victims.Show a copy of those files and you will have proven your claim.
          Was Nichols observed by a police officer soliciting in Bucks Row?Not to anyones knowledge.Were the other victims observed soliciting?
          I will repeat again,I have not claimed the victims were not,or could not have been prostitutes,so why keep asking me to prove something I have no knowledge of.It is up to posters like you,who are making claims they were prostitutes ,to produce evidence that they were..As a former police officer,what level of proof do you say that should be?
          No one should be asked to accept something that hasn't been proven.We have the absurb situation of something like 200 Jtr's because of false claims by authors.Claims that lack supporting provenence .That alone should make posters stop and think when it comes to a question of proof.
          They could only have violated those laws if their actions had been witnessed by police and they had either been arrested or formally cautioned and we cannot conclusively prove either, although we know Stride had a conviction for prostitution and Kellys death cert shows her occupation as a prostitute so that is prime evidence to show those two had prostituted themselves in the past so you have no argument on those two as being called prostitutes.

          You are asking the impossible,short of being able to produce a document to show that any of the other victims had convictions or cautions for prostitution because of the differnet names they all used. We are left to assess and evaluate what we have left and draw proper inferences, and for the record in criminal trials today juries can draw such inferences from the evidence before them.


          What the remainder of the victims in my opinion shows is that their actions and what they told witnesses and what the additional evidence correctly infers is that they were looking to obtain money by prostitution prior to their murders, all other explanations for their movements have been negated. Unless of course you can come up with anything that is a plausible explantion for them being out on the streets at that time of the morning.

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk
          Last edited by Trevor Marriott; 12-04-2021, 11:21 AM.

          Comment


          • Trevor I have always accepted that your knowledge and understanding of the Ripper murders are superior to Pauls,so I will address this reply to you.
            Yes,what little information we have would lead to an opinion(yours),or a suspicion that the victims,were or had been prostitutes.I have conceded that,but that information is not official police evidence,nor does it come from court records of prosecutions for prostitution,and opinions and suspicions are not proofs.
            Now yourself has in the past been strongly critical of any information,especially information obtained from newspapers and rumour, and rely instead on official matter.I agree.
            What official matter might there be.Court records or files,police records or files.Records of interview,statements of interview.Police notebooks,cautions given by polce etc.Documentary evidence to be precise,about the only evidence one would expect to have survived. Copies of any of those sources posted here would do.I do not see any.
            Rubenhold will not see any either,and it adds to her claim there is no evidence the victims were prostitutes,or were prostituting themselves at or about the time they were killed.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by harry View Post
              Trevor I have always accepted that your knowledge and understanding of the Ripper murders are superior to Pauls,so I will address this reply to you.
              I'm sure Trevor will be delighted to hear that. Or maybe not.

              Originally posted by harry View Post
              Yes,what little information we have would lead to an opinion(yours),or a suspicion that the victims,were or had been prostitutes.I have conceded that,
              Good. You have conceded that there exists information - otherwise called 'evidence' in this case - leading to a conclusion that the victims were or had been engaged in prostitution.

              Originally posted by harry View Post
              but that information is not official police evidence,nor does it come from court records of prosecutions for prostitution
              Nobody has ever said that evidence was official police evidence (whatever you mean by that) and so forth, so it isn't clear why you are making this point.

              Originally posted by harry View Post
              and opinions and suspicions are not proofs.
              Nobody has suggested that an opinion and a suspicion is proof, so why are you telling anyone this? I don't think many people here are infants, they probably already know that an opinion isn't proof.

              Originally posted by harry View Post
              Now yourself has in the past been strongly critical of any information,especially information obtained from newspapers and rumour, and rely instead on official matter.I agree.
              Trevor has been critical 'of any information, especially information obtained from newspapers'. I think you'll find that Trevor has been critical of some information, not 'any information'. It's a nit-picky point. I hope.

              Originally posted by harry View Post
              What official matter might there be.Court records or files,police records or files.Records of interview,statements of interview.Police notebooks,cautions given by polce etc.Documentary evidence to be precise,about the only evidence one would expect to have survived. Copies of any of those sources posted here would do.I do not see any.
              No, you don't see any of that sort of evidence. Mind you, you have been told over and over and over and over and over and over again that it doesn't exist, but there seems to be something about the words 'IT DOESN'T EXIST' that defies your understanding. It would be great if that evidence existed. Absolutely brilliant. And if you think it is out there, be proactive and go and look for it. Until you do, and either find it or admit that it's not out there, we have to make do with the evidence we do have.

              Originally posted by harry View Post
              Rubenhold will not see any either
              No, she won't find any of that kind of evidence either. There is probably an explanation for that. Something to do with it not existing.

              Originally posted by harry View Post
              and it adds to her claim there is no evidence the victims were prostitutes,or were prostituting themselves at or about the time they were killed.
              Well, her claim that there is no evidence is wrong. You as much as admitted that yourself when you acknowledged the existence of information on which the suspicion that they were prostitutes is based. No evidence does not mean the same as no proof. Anyway, I'll leave you down your rabbit hole with your opinions for company.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by harry View Post
                Trevor I have always accepted that your knowledge and understanding of the Ripper murders are superior to Pauls,so I will address this reply to you.
                Yes,what little information we have would lead to an opinion(yours),or a suspicion that the victims,were or had been prostitutes.I have conceded that,but that information is not official police evidence,nor does it come from court records of prosecutions for prostitution,and opinions and suspicions are not proofs.
                Now yourself has in the past been strongly critical of any information,especially information obtained from newspapers and rumour, and rely instead on official matter.I agree.
                What official matter might there be.Court records or files,police records or files.Records of interview,statements of interview.Police notebooks,cautions given by polce etc.Documentary evidence to be precise,about the only evidence one would expect to have survived. Copies of any of those sources posted here would do.I do not see any.
                Rubenhold will not see any either,and it adds to her claim there is no evidence the victims were prostitutes,or were prostituting themselves at or about the time they were killed.
                Its all about what each person interprets as evidence. You are right I personally have always regarded newspaper reports as secondary evidence, although that being said there are times when a newspaper report can be primary evidence. If a reporter was present in court and took down the proceedings verabatim, then that evidence would be regarded as primary evidence.

                To enhance the theme of her book Rubenhold cleary has to try to disprove the fact that these victims were prostitutes by ignoring all of the many facts and evidence, which I have set out in the previous post, a trap you and baron seem to have also fallen into.

                I am not sure how the police recorded cautions for prostitutes back then.I would imagine that they would be first recorded in the officers pocket book, and then at some point added to a file on prostitutes which would have been kept at that officers police station. whether or not it was then sent to Scotland Yard I do not know, but what I do know is that in later years any female given a street caution for prostitution had a right of appeal against the caution.

                The use of aliases by these women suggests to me that it was a practice used by prostitutes to avoid being arrested after having been given official cautions for prostituting themselves in public.

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                Last edited by Trevor Marriott; 12-05-2021, 07:37 AM.

                Comment


                • No Trevor,I have not fallen for anything.I no more accept Rubenhold's claim,than I do of posters on this thread.All she has to do is sit back and claim there has been no proof submitted.The only way to counter that is to produce proof,of an official nature.Some documentary evidence that can be uploaded to this thread and her boards.Not much chance of that I'm afraid.You are wasting your time trying to convince me,and I suspect Barron,but we are only two persons.There is still Rubenhold and her many followers.
                  I have conceded that evidence leads to a suspicion,not a conclusion Paul.False interpretation will get you nowhere,and as I have conceeded more than once,my education was only elementry,so your school master versus pupil approach is doomed.There are too many fair minded people reading this thread to fall for that.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by harry View Post
                    No Trevor,I have not fallen for anything.I no more accept Rubenhold's claim,than I do of posters on this thread.All she has to do is sit back and claim there has been no proof submitted.The only way to counter that is to produce proof,of an official nature.Some documentary evidence that can be uploaded to this thread and her boards.Not much chance of that I'm afraid.You are wasting your time trying to convince me,and I suspect Barron,but we are only two persons.There is still Rubenhold and her many followers.
                    I have conceded that evidence leads to a suspicion,not a conclusion Paul.False interpretation will get you nowhere,and as I have conceeded more than once,my education was only elementry,so your school master versus pupil approach is doomed.There are too many fair minded people reading this thread to fall for that.
                    Clearly you have fallen along with Baron and Rubenhold in not accepting that there is sufficient factual and documentary evidence to show that the victims did engage in prostitution. Stride and Kelly are dead certs there can be no arguments with them from you Baron or Rubenhold. with the others there is enough evidence to caregorize them also as prostitutes

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by harry View Post
                      I have conceded that evidence leads to a suspicion,not a conclusion Paul.
                      Suspicion and a conclusion are essentially the same things, Harry.

                      A person assesses the evidence and reaches a conclusion that leads to suspicion. A policeman stops a car and smells cannabis, from that he concludes that cannabis has been smoked and he suspects the driver.

                      The evidence of family and friends is that Mary Nichols was a prostitute. She needed money and confidently asserted that she would get some although at the time there were limited opportunities for her to do so, which leads to the suspicion that she was going to engage in prostitution. Her body was found in a dark back street of the sort that prostitutes favoured, from which one draws the conclusion that she had been prostituting herself.

                      The point is that there is evidence leading to the suspicion or conclusion that Mary Nichols was a prostitute. Whether that evidence is good, bad, or indifferent, is irrelevant. The fact is that there is evidence. Hallie Rubenhold has stated that no evidence exists. She is wrong. End of story. Enjoy you tea with the Queen of Hearts.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                        Clearly you have fallen along with Baron and Rubenhold in not accepting that there is sufficient factual and documentary evidence to show that the victims did engage in prostitution. Stride and Kelly are dead certs there can be no arguments with them from you Baron or Rubenhold. with the others there is enough evidence to caregorize them also as prostitutes

                        www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                        Trevor,
                        I think the problem here is that Harry agrees that there is evidence on which it can be concluded that the five were prostitutes (which alone puts the lie to Rubenhold's claims that there is no evidence), but is saying that there is no proof. What he refuses to address is that the sort of proof he would find acceptable doesn't exist (or, if it does, it hasn't been found yet), and he refuses to understand that we must therefore draw the best conclusion we can from the evidence we possess - that conclusion being that they were prostitutes. The conclusion will change if contrary evidence comes along, just as the verdict of a jury can be overturned by fresh evidence. Nothing is immutable.

                        Comment




                        • There are some strange points being made here. To sum up we appear to be faced with a) that we shouldn’t say that the victims were either full or part-time prostitutes because we don’t have absolute written proof of this, and b) that we also shouldn’t say that the victims engaged in prostitution without written proof because being a prostitute is ‘bad’ and that we are somehow insulting their memory by doing so? This implies a moral judgment to me so which of us wants to put ourselves forward as the arbiter of morality? Certainly not me.

                          On point a) I’d make the point that every day of the week men and women are sent to prison without absolute proof having been provided of their guilt. Why then, on the far less important issue of whether someone engaged in prostitution or not, is a far higher level of evidence being demanded by two posters? As Paul has pointed out, history doesn’t always work on absolutes. If it was suddenly the case that only absolutes proven facts were accepted then we’d see a fair few historians stacking shelves in Morrison’s. We work with what we have and draw our inferences from that information. We have Nichols friends, family and the Police all stating clearly that she engaged in prostitution. On the night of her death she intended to earn her doss money. Harry suggests that she lay down in Bucks Row for a ‘temporary rest.’Was Bucks Row known to have particularly comfy pavements? She was drunk and penniless in a back street. She needed money with pawn shops closed and 99% of the population asleep in bed. So unless we are suggesting burglary then prostitution is the most reasonable inference (especially considering that her friends, family and the police all said that she resorted to it when she needed cash)

                          Point b) is beyond bizarre of course. To back up the suggestion that prostitution is ‘bad’ we are given the opinion of some psychologists and that because of their opinions on the potential effects of prostitution it’s stated that we shouldn’t suggest that someone engaged in it unless we have absolute written proof. Really? What about boxing as an example? Every single doctor will tell us that boxing is extremely dangerous and therefore, by The Baron’s apparent definition, ‘bad.’ So if we have an East Enders brother saying that x boxed for money, we have x’s wife saying that he boxed for money and also the police saying that he boxed for money but we have no documentary proof should we refrain from suggesting that he engaged in boxing simply because boxing is ‘bad’ and that we would be maligning his memory? Would anyone accept this nonsense unless they were making some kind of strange moral judgment? So we return to the question “who is the arbiter of morality?”

                          The evidence suggests very strongly (I’d say, beyond reasonable doubt) that these women engaged in prostitution when desperate. This isn’t a moral judgment so we certainly aren’t disrespecting their memories. It’s a judgment based on the available evidence. No one has classed it as ‘proof’ but it’s evidence which comes close and it’s certainly enough state, with a high level of confidence, that the victims of the ripper engaged in prostitution.

                          I recall the late Martin Fido once saying (or it might have been written in his book) after speaking to East End families, something like… ‘it was known that when times were tough Granny went out onto the streets to earn money and no one thought any the worse of her.’ There should be no stigma attached to saying that these women were forced by their horrendous circumstances, and the society that put them in that position, into prostitution at times. And to demand absolute written proof is, as all but two appear to understand, completely pointless.
                          Regards

                          Herlock Sholmes

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by harry View Post
                            No Trevor,I have not fallen for anything.I no more accept Rubenhold's claim,than I do of posters on this thread.All she has to do is sit back and claim there has been no proof submitted.The only way to counter that is to produce proof,of an official nature.Some documentary evidence that can be uploaded to this thread and her boards.Not much chance of that I'm afraid.You are wasting your time trying to convince me,and I suspect Barron,but we are only two persons.There is still Rubenhold and her many followers.
                            I have conceded that evidence leads to a suspicion,not a conclusion Paul.False interpretation will get you nowhere,and as I have conceeded more than once,my education was only elementry,so your school master versus pupil approach is doomed.There are too many fair minded people reading this thread to fall for that.
                            Harry, you state that there are too many fair minded posters on here to ‘fall’ for the point that Paul and others are making about evidence vs proof. I have to point out the very obvious fact that, apart from The Baron, all of these posters appear to agree with Paul and disagree with you. This really should tell you something.

                            Regards

                            Herlock Sholmes

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by harry View Post
                              No matter what explanations we supply Baron,Alley and others appear fixated with discrediting Rubenhold,and they cannot do it.It is blinding their judgement.You and I have answered Allys quesions,and the one inescapable fact is she will refuse to believe that the victims had other options than prostitution.Sure there is a suspicion that prostitution might have been a factor,I have said that,but the fact is there were thousands of women who were unfortunates and homeless(for those who wish to use statistics) who abstained from prostituting themselves.All or some of the five could have been among them.This obsession unfortuntes had to be prostitutes is akin to those who insisst a person who finds a body is automatically a suspect.Utterly futile reasoning.


                              .'
                              Harry, you are saying that the term ‘Unfortunate’ didn’t mean ‘Prostitute’ but instead just refers to someone down on their luck? I’ve always taken ‘Unfortunate’ to have been a euphemism for Prostitute.

                              This is from Jan Bondeson’s excellent (imo) The Ripper Of Waterloo Road.

                              ‘The murder of Eliza Grimwood excited a most painful interest in the public mind. She was singularly beautiful, of the class termed ‘unfortunate,’ but loathing her way of life…”

                              This was written in 1881 about a murder that occurred in 1838. Eliza Grimwood was a part-time prostitute with savings, at the time of her death, of around 200 (a very significant sum in those days). She had a decent room with some nice clothes and expensive jewellery and was a regular at the theatre. She was very obviously in far better position than any of the ripper’s victims. Quite comfortable in fact. So she wasn’t unfortunate in terms of her situation being desperately poor or even just poor. So very clearly ‘unfortunate’ was a term that very specifically referred to a prostitute. Eliza Grimwood was a long way from being ‘down on her luck.’ She was very comfortably off by the standards of the time. An Unfortunate was obviously a Prostitute and not just someone down on their luck.
                              Regards

                              Herlock Sholmes

                              Comment


                              • That's right, Herlock. Has anyone come across the use of the noun 'an unfortunate' in the cases of children or males of the pauper class? We see women listed on census returns as 'unfortunate' in the space where occupation is usually listed, we see women having to swear on oath in court, even when appearing as just a witness, that they are 'an unfortunate,' at the point people usually give their occupation. We see women described as 'married, but an unfortunate.'

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