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A Petticoat Parley: Women in Ripperology

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  • harry
    replied
    No oodles of money needed Ally.Just fourpence.I do not need to answer your last question as to what work was avaiable to Nichols.She didnt claim she was going to get money by working.What she said was,'I'll soon get my doss money;see what a jolly bonnet Ive got now'.No mention of work.Perhaps she was hoping to sell her bonnet.
    Next question.

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  • Ally
    replied
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    Now Ally appears to suggest I would have to lie or prove mysef wrong to avoid a direct question,and the question is,how did they plan to earn their doss money at 2 in the morning.No one knows,the victims didn't say,and I am no mind reader.By the same token,no one is in a posion to state it would only be by prostitution.Perhaps,like Kelly,as evidenced by Hutchinson,it could be by borrowing from friends,or aqaintances.So by borrowing.Now I didn't have to lie or prove myself wrong,did I Ally?
    What is your next stupid question?

    LOL... I also said that prevarication, deliberate misleading, was also an option which "No one knows, I'm not a mind- reader" falls under. So thank you for proving me right. I appreciate it. But yeah, try to sell "they were borrowing from their friends" who just had oodles of money to hand out to their friends. All those generous people in Whitechapel with just buckets of money to give away.

    So here's the next direct question, Harry darling. What MEANS of earning money were available to a woman at 2 am in 1888, that they could have realistically been going out to work at and earn doss money? 2 am, 1888. What jobs were out there for these women to go out on the streets and earn their doss?

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  • harry
    replied
    Seems there are killers today who select victims who can offer little resistence.

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  • harry
    replied
    Who is the most blinkered Paul,you who insist the five were prostitutes or myself who admits the evidence might lead to a position of suspicion only..You who insist the five were criminals engaged in criminal behavior at the time of their deaths,or myself who is more cautiious in determining their status.How can I broke no arguement,I do not control the boards,and you will continue to argue because you have placed yourself in a position where admiting a measure of being wrong would cause embarrasment.
    Now Ally appears to suggest I would have to lie or prove mysef wrong to avoid a direct question,and the question is,how did they plan to earn their doss money at 2 in the morning.No one knows,the victims didn't say,and I am no mind reader.By the same token,no one is in a posion to state it would only be by prostitution.Perhaps,like Kelly,as evidenced by Hutchinson,it could be by borrowing from friends,or aqaintances.So by borrowing.Now I didn't have to lie or prove myself wrong,did I Ally?
    What is your next stupid question?

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  • Ally
    replied
    Originally posted by The Baron View Post



    We even have been accused of sexism just because we refused to accept the victims were proven prostitutes!!!


    It is a case of throwing anything that comes to your hand against your opponent!



    The Baron

    No it's a case of exposing an underlying truth that guides people's thinking. Why do you fight so hard to argue that they weren't engaged prostitution when the facts as we have them indicate that they were? Their friends and family all at the time accepted them as prostitutes, and yet, here you are at a remove of a 100+ years, arguing the opposite. For what possible reason? Why do you need to fight so hard to accept what everyone who knew them accepted as fact?

    If their friends and family and THOSE WHO ACTUALLY KNEW THEM, stated that they were, then what possible reason is there for YOU to argue they were not? If we don't know the facts either way, why in this one instance, are we arguing against basic logic (what were they doing to earn money at 2 am) and witness testimony from friends and family (that they were prostitutes).

    Funny how nobody is arguing vehemently against the majority being alcoholics, when we have no direct evidence of that either. Just what other people said. Funny, isn't it.

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  • Ally
    replied
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    Have I put the blame on anyone for anything?Certainly not.Nor have I relied on anyone to support my claims.There is only one way to obtain the truth,and that is to prove the elements,whether it be to show historical truth.or for any other reason.Those claiming the Ripper victims were prostitutes admit the proof is not there.If the proof is not there ,then the truth that the victims were prostitutes,or were prostituting themselves the nights they were killed,cannot be had.A child would understand that.
    All that the evidence shows,is that there is a basis for suspicion.Nothing more,and I have conceded that.What more do they want? Too late to prove those suspicions.It will remain a case of the victims could have been prostitututes,but have not been shown as such.
    Paul.Ally,and a few others have locked themselves into a position,where it has become a contest between them and Rubenhold,and they must win.Childish.
    The above two posts show their desperation.
    And only a child would continue to avoid a direct question, asked directly when he knows he can't get out of it except by lying or prevaricating or proving himself wrong.

    So again: Both Polly and Annie made statements that they were going out to earn their doss money in the wee small hours of the morning, so do answer, directly: how did they plan to earn their doss money at 2 in the morning?

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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by The Baron View Post



    We even have been accused of sexism just because we refused to accept the victims were proven prostitutes!!!


    It is a case of throwing anything that comes to your hand against your opponent!



    The Baron
    As explained often enough for even you to have grasped, Baron, the argument is not that the victims have been "proven" to have been prostitutes, only that there is evidence that they were. Some people are satisfied that the evidence is sufficient to support the conclusion that they were prostitutes. Proof may be lacking, but the evidence isn't, and, very simply, reaching conclusions based on the best assessment of the evidence is essentially what history is - "History means interpretation".

    But please yourself, as I know you will.


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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    Have I put the blame on anyone for anything?Certainly not.Nor have I relied on anyone to support my claims.There is only one way to obtain the truth,and that is to prove the elements,whether it be to show historical truth.or for any other reason.Those claiming the Ripper victims were prostitutes admit the proof is not there.If the proof is not there ,then the truth that the victims were prostitutes,or were prostituting themselves the nights they were killed,cannot be had.A child would understand that.
    All that the evidence shows,is that there is a basis for suspicion.Nothing more,and I have conceded that.What more do they want? Too late to prove those suspicions.It will remain a case of the victims could have been prostitututes,but have not been shown as such.
    Paul.Ally,and a few others have locked themselves into a position,where it has become a contest between them and Rubenhold,and they must win.Childish.
    The above two posts show their desperation.
    Harry,
    Briefly, you stated that you had clearly stated your position and normally wouldn't continue to post to this thread but would do so because other people keep quoting you and using your name. In other words, you are continuing to post because others keep referring to you, which is what Ally means by "blaming", otherwise you are placing the onus on the people who are responding to you. As Ally says, they're not forcing you to reply, the decision to do is yours. not anybody else's.

    One might also infer from your own words that normally you would have clearly said your piece and said no more, like a man of strong opinions brooking no argument. Having an uncluttered, straight-ahead, clear view of things is what some people call "blinkered", and you certainly don't appear to allow your thinking to be changed by anything anyone has said to you. Your argument is the same now as it was when you first expressed it. You keep going on about "proof" despite being told that the "proof' you want doesn't exist. But you are correct that your argument would be clear to a child, but a child doesn't understand that arguments aren't quite so simple when one is trying to understand what happened a hundred, a thousand, or two thousand years ago.

    Anyway, it is clear that nothing anyone says is going to deflect your understanding of things from the straightforward, clear-cut, thinking, but there is one thing you really must understand and that is the difference between evidence and proof. I am not trying to be rude, but Hallie Rubenhold has claimed that there is no evidence that the victims were prostitutes, whereas Allie and I and others argue that there is evidence. But it isn't a matter of whether or not the victims were prostitutes, but claims that the police and press branded all homeless and destitute women prostitutes. That has a bearing on police history, the policing of areas like the East End as a whole, and whether or not the police at the time gave a damn about what was going on. As you said, a child could understand your arguments, but maybe our slightly more complex arguments is why you don't understand them and think they're childish.

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  • harry
    replied
    Quite true Baron.Wonder what will be next.

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  • The Baron
    replied
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    Have I put the blame on anyone for anything?Certainly not.Nor have I relied on anyone to support my claims.There is only one way to obtain the truth,and that is to prove the elements,whether it be to show historical truth.or for any other reason.Those claiming the Ripper victims were prostitutes admit the proof is not there.If the proof is not there ,then the truth that the victims were prostitutes,or were prostituting themselves the nights they were killed,cannot be had.A child would understand that.
    All that the evidence shows,is that there is a basis for suspicion.Nothing more,and I have conceded that.What more do they want? Too late to prove those suspicions.It will remain a case of the victims could have been prostitututes,but have not been shown as such.
    Paul.Ally,and a few others have locked themselves into a position,where it has become a contest between them and Rubenhold,and they must win.Childish.
    The above two posts show their desperation.


    We even have been accused of sexism just because we refused to accept the victims were proven prostitutes!!!


    It is a case of throwing anything that comes to your hand against your opponent!



    The Baron

    Leave a comment:


  • harry
    replied
    Have I put the blame on anyone for anything?Certainly not.Nor have I relied on anyone to support my claims.There is only one way to obtain the truth,and that is to prove the elements,whether it be to show historical truth.or for any other reason.Those claiming the Ripper victims were prostitutes admit the proof is not there.If the proof is not there ,then the truth that the victims were prostitutes,or were prostituting themselves the nights they were killed,cannot be had.A child would understand that.
    All that the evidence shows,is that there is a basis for suspicion.Nothing more,and I have conceded that.What more do they want? Too late to prove those suspicions.It will remain a case of the victims could have been prostitututes,but have not been shown as such.
    Paul.Ally,and a few others have locked themselves into a position,where it has become a contest between them and Rubenhold,and they must win.Childish.
    The above two posts show their desperation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ally
    replied
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    Now I wouldn't normally keep posting on this thread,I have stated my position clear enough,but as other posters keep quoting my name,and what I have written,i'll reply.
    You don't have to blame other people for your desire to continue the debate. You can actually just bow out, whether other people quote you or not, when you feel you've said all you have to say, no one is held hostage to a voluntary debate. Don't blame others for your voluntary actions.


    I do not have to prove anything. I am not the one claiming the victims were prostitutes.I have not once stated they could not be.I have no objection to those who feel the information leads to a position of suspicion,but mere suspicion is not enough.Ask any policeman.
    And if this were a court of law, this would be valid. It's not. It's a court of public debate. In a court of public debate, when one puts forth ones views, yes, one is required to "prove" them or at least support them. You can't make an assertion that people should not do A or should do B or that it is wrong to do A or B and then waffle out of it by saying "I don't have to prove anything, the burden of proof is on other people.". That's not how debate works, dear.

    You make statements like there is no "proof" what they were doing in the early hours, while disregarding witness testimony that claims they were out earning their doss money, so do tell, how do YOU Think they were earning their doss money in the early hours of the morning? Selling crochet work? Flowers? Pawning hats? To whom?

    Both Nichols and Chapman made statements that they intended to go out and earn their doss. So how precisely, in your esteemed opinion did they plan to do that in the small hours of the morning? And if your answer is "I don't know" it's convenient, and quite telling. Because anyone looking at this through the lens of logic, and not bias, would find the answer fairly clear.

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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    Now I wouldn't normally keep posting on this thread,I have stated my position clear enough,but as other posters keep quoting my name,and what I have written,i'll reply.
    Posters are still giving the Helson interview with William Nichols as proof Polly was a prostitute .It doesn't.What that interview establishes is that some unknown source advised William that Polly was engaged in prostitution.As there is no knowledge of what exactly this unknown source did know,and William doesn't elaborate,one cannot come to a conclusion.It remains purely a claim only.It is not conclusive of anything.It does not prove Polly prostituted herself.
    That is the case with all the other claims the victims were prostitutes.How did the claimants Know? It is not,as posters are claiming,that I am setting the standards too high.I am following basic law enforcement procedures.A claim is only useful if the elements of that claim can be proven.and those argueing against me agree there is no proof.
    I do not have to prove anything.I am not the one claiming the victims were prostitutes.I have not once stated they could not be.I have no objection to those who feel the information leads to a position of suspicion,but mere suspicion is not enough.Ask any policeman.
    I have noticed in the last few posts a tendancy by some, to quote the testimony of named persons as somehow being more aceptable than others.A sort of elite group,whose experience and standing in Ripper matters,are superior to others.A pretty quaint method of proof one might feel.
    Your last sentence is not quite correct Paul.There would still be evidence that at least five women were killed,or would you rather have me write that at least five prostitutes were murdered?
    Harry,
    Unfortunately, I don't see much point in pursuing this matter. You can follow "basic law enforcement procedure", but this is history, not a live criminal investigation, and a historian doesn't use the same techniques or have the same requirements as a policeman, which perhaps explains why policemen don't teach the Wars of the Roses and a historian isn't invited to take charge of a criminal investigation. A historian tries to reconstruct what happened in the past, in this case of what possibly happened over a century ago, and there is very limited information on which to do it. Anyone who knows anything about history knows that history is built on conjecture, not on proofs.

    It is perfectly understood that what William Nichols told the police isn't proof, and the deficiencies you point out are all too obvious, but there is also the corroborative evidence of Mary Nichols' fellow lodgers, who also said she was a prostitute. Their evidence is subject to the same caveats as William Nichols, but nevertheless, it is an independent source saying the same thing.

    And there is the collected circumstantial evidence which has been very patiently pointed out to you, which adds to the probability.

    You say that you don't have to prove anything because you're not claiming that the victims were prostitutes, but you are rejecting the claims of those who make that claim and you can be - and are being - called upon to defend that. Sadly, that's when you start demanding the sort of proofs that it is impossible to supply and when following police procedures don't apply.

    Anyway, setting all that aside, the point is that nobody is - or at least nobody should be - saying that William Nichols' statement to the police is proof of anything. What they are saying - or should be saying - is that it constitutes evidence that she was a prostitute. And that is what this is all about: it is Hallie Rubenhold who says that there is no evidence that the victims were prostitutes. Well, Inspector Helson's report of what William Nichols said is evidence. Rubenhold may reject it, as you have rejected it, but she should have discussed it with her readers, but she didn't. In fact, she said no evidence existed.

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  • harry
    replied
    Now I wouldn't normally keep posting on this thread,I have stated my position clear enough,but as other posters keep quoting my name,and what I have written,i'll reply.
    Posters are still giving the Helson interview with William Nichols as proof Polly was a prostitute .It doesn't.What that interview establishes is that some unknown source advised William that Polly was engaged in prostitution.As there is no knowledge of what exactly this unknown source did know,and William doesn't elaborate,one cannot come to a conclusion.It remains purely a claim only.It is not conclusive of anything.It does not prove Polly prostituted herself.
    That is the case with all the other claims the victims were prostitutes.How did the claimants Know? It is not,as posters are claiming,that I am setting the standards too high.I am following basic law enforcement procedures.A claim is only useful if the elements of that claim can be proven.and those argueing against me agree there is no proof.
    I do not have to prove anything.I am not the one claiming the victims were prostitutes.I have not once stated they could not be.I have no objection to those who feel the information leads to a position of suspicion,but mere suspicion is not enough.Ask any policeman.
    I have noticed in the last few posts a tendancy by some, to quote the testimony of named persons as somehow being more aceptable than others.A sort of elite group,whose experience and standing in Ripper matters,are superior to others.A pretty quaint method of proof one might feel.
    Your last sentence is not quite correct Paul.There would still be evidence that at least five women were killed,or would you rather have me write that at least five prostitutes were murdered?

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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by jmenges View Post

    William Nichols provided Helson the following information: ‘They separated about 9 years since in consequence of her drunken habits. For some time he allowed her 5/- per week, but in 1882, it having come to his knowledge that she was living the life of a prostitute he discontinued the allowance. In consequence of this she became chargeable to the Guardians of the Parish of Lambeth by whom the husband was Summoned to show cause why he should not be ordered to contribute towards her support, and on these facts being proved, the summons was dismissed.’ (MEPO 3/140, ff. 235–8).

    Lewis Diemshietz testified at the inquest on Stride: 'I then drove into the yard, both of the gates being wide open. It was rather dark there. All at once my pony shied at some object on the right. I looked to see what the object was, and observed that there was something unusual, but could not tell what. It was a dark object. I put my whip handle to it, and tried to lift it up, but as I did not succeed I jumped down from my barrow and struck a match. It was rather windy, and I could only get sufficient light to see that there was some figure there. I could tell from the dress that it was the figure of a woman.
    You did not disturb it? - No, I went into the club and asked where my wife was. I found her in the front room on the ground floor.'

    Joseph Lawende stated at the inquest: 'On the night of Sept. 29, I was at the Imperial Club, Duke-street, together with Mr. Joseph Levy and Mr. Harry Harris. It was raining, and we sat in the club till half-past one o'clock, when we left. I observed a man and woman together at the corner of Church-passage, Duke-street, leading to Mitre-square.'

    Nichols' fellow lodgers at 18 Thrawl Street stated "they identified the deceased as Polly who had shared a room with three other women in the place on the usual terms of such houses. Likely paying four pence each. Each woman having a separate bed. It was gathered that the deceased had led the life of an unfortunate while lodging in the house, which is only for about three weeks past. Nothing more was known of her by them but that when she presented herself for lodging there Thursday night she was turned away by the deputy.”

    No one saw Lewis Diemshietz discover the body of Elizabeth Stride, there is not anything to corroborate or evaluate his statement, but we assume he was telling the truth and accept his statement without much question.

    No one witnessed Lawende, Levy and Harris leaving the Imperial Club and walking past Church passage where they saw Eddowes standing with a man, but we believe them without anything existing that we can use to evaluate the truthfulness of their statement.

    But when it comes to the interview with the police with a victim's husband that the victim was "living the life of a prostitute[...] and those facts being proved - this testimony is questionable due to a lack of additional information we can evaluate.

    When women who knew and lodged with a victim stated the victim "had lived the life of an unfortunate", we are to question this as unreliable because there's no additional evidence (having already dismissed William Nichols' evidence) that she in fact did live the life of an unfortunate.

    It seems to me that a higher standard is being used when it comes to the prostitute question as opposed to any other aspect of the case where all we have are the words of the witnesses with nothing in existence to corroborate them.

    JM
    The sort of evidence Harry wants just doesn't exist, and if he wanted it for all those statements ten we'd have no history of the Whitechapel murders.

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