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Jack and the Thames Torso Murders: A New Ripper? by Drew Gray and Andrew Wise

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  • #31
    Wow!!!

    $27 (Australian) for the Kindle version. That the most expensive Kindle book I've ever seen, guess I won't be buying it at that price.
    dustymiller
    aka drstrange

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

      Yes, John, disarticulation alone is not enough to make the case, given the distance in time, although the neat and clean knifework does help the matter along - to a degree.
      As for the comparison between the 1873 victim and Kelly, I keep it to myself, egotistical creature that I am.
      I also like to keep my powder dry sometimes! Anyway, Christer, I shall look forward to reading your comparision.

      Here's a snippet I was saving for later. The gap between the earlier Torso Murders and Rainham was around 13 years. Interestingly, a very detailed study has been done by Simkin and Roychowdhury looking at time intervals between murders for serial killers. The result for serial killers who had at least 3 killing dates (587 serial killers, 2412 inter murder intervals), is that 97.5% of the time intervals were 4096 days or less. A time gap of 13 years would therefore appear to be highly unusual.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by John G View Post

        I also like to keep my powder dry sometimes! Anyway, Christer, I shall look forward to reading your comparision.

        Here's a snippet I was saving for later. The gap between the earlier Torso Murders and Rainham was around 13 years. Interestingly, a very detailed study has been done by Simkin and Roychowdhury looking at time intervals between murders for serial killers. The result for serial killers who had at least 3 killing dates (587 serial killers, 2412 inter murder intervals), is that 97.5% of the time intervals were 4096 days or less. A time gap of 13 years would therefore appear to be highly unusual.
        4096 days equals 11,22 years, John. And 11,22 years apparently fall into the 97,5 per cent group. So how 13 years would be "highly unusual", I fail to see. Add the Tottenham case and we are in the clear, right?
        Let's also agree that we have no idea whether the suggested combined killer struck inbetween. There is even the possibility that he did so in an unmistakable manner, but the murder/s may have gone lost to us. They could well be listed as disappearances only - or they may have gone unlisted.

        Regardless, I think we must allow for inclusions of all types that are "unusual". Statistics are fine, but allowing them to rule out statistical anomalies just don't work. If it did, we could rule out serial murder as a whole, since it is against statistics in the first place.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

          4096 days equals 11,22 years, John. And 11,22 years apparently fall into the 97,5 per cent group. So how 13 years would be "highly unusual", I fail to see. Add the Tottenham case and we are in the clear, right?
          Let's also agree that we have no idea whether the suggested combined killer struck inbetween. There is even the possibility that he did so in an unmistakable manner, but the murder/s may have gone lost to us. They could well be listed as disappearances only - or they may have gone unlisted.

          Regardless, I think we must allow for inclusions of all types that are "unusual". Statistics are fine, but allowing them to rule out statistical anomalies just don't work. If it did, we could rule out serial murder as a whole, since it is against statistics in the first place.
          Yes, I agree Christer, statistics only get you so far. However, as I've argued before, as there is no hard forensic evidence to link any of these crimes we can only rely on intuitive judgements, based on statistics, criminal profiling, geo-profiling etc.

          If we consider a much lower time interval of 2048 days, it doesn't change things much. Thus, only 146 out of 2412 inter murder intervals were more than this, so 83.48% of time intervals were less than 2048 days. And, regarding the earlier statistic, 4096 days was the upper end. In any event, if only 2.4% of time intervals were more than 11.22 years, I would consider 13 years to be highly unusual.

          Personally I don't consider it likely that the Tottenham Torso is linked, but it's all a matter of opinion.
          Last edited by John G; 06-13-2019, 08:46 AM.

          Comment


          • #35
            Hi Fish, just downloaded the Kindle version. i have to agree with Gary, that Lechmere is a far better candidate, at least there is a real link, in that he was the finder(at least) of one victim.

            Let you know what i think after i read it.


            Steve

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by John G View Post

              Yes, I agree Christer, statistics only get you so far. However, as I've argued before, as there is no hard forensic evidence to link any of these crimes we can only rely on intuitive judgements, based on statistics, criminal profiling, geo-profiling etc.

              If we consider a much lower time interval of 2048 days, it doesn't change things much. Thus, only 146 out of 2412 inter murder intervals were more than this, so 83.48% of time intervals were less than 2048 days. And, regarding the earlier statistic, 4096 days was the upper end. In any event, if only 2.4% of time intervals were more than 11.22 years, I would consider 13 years to be highly unusual.

              Personally I don't consider it likely that the Tottenham Torso is linked, but it's all a matter of opinion.
              I would say that the cutting away of portions of the abdominal wall is very hard forensic evidence, regardless of the fact that we cannot tell how the portions compared to each other.
              Have a look at the Albright case - the women slain in Dallas in 1991, two of them on the same street, even. All three had their eyeballs removed with great skill. Charles Albright was technically linked to one case, by means of strands of his hair being found on the victim. He was convicted in that single case, and remains under suspicion for the other two.
              Can there be any sensible doubt that he killed all three? Is it likely that there were two eyeball snatchers on the prowl in Dallas in 1991? Or three?
              I say emphatically no.
              And to me, the same goes for the question whether it is likely that there were two men cutting away abdominal walls in London in 1888-89. It is unlikely in the extreme. Then again, as I said before, we cannot always rely on statistics, because statistically unexpected things DO occur. But the similarities are too many and too odd for it to be any real likelihood this time.
              So it´s another emphatic no.
              Last edited by Fisherman; 06-13-2019, 09:11 AM.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Elamarna View Post
                Hi Fish, just downloaded the Kindle version. i have to agree with Gary, that Lechmere is a far better candidate, at least there is a real link, in that he was the finder(at least) of one victim.

                Let you know what i think after i read it.


                Steve
                Hi Steve,

                It was really a connection to HB I was referring to. There are a number of things that suggest to me that Lechmere may have carried horseflesh for them. As far as I can see there is no evidence that Hardiman was anything other than a cat’s meat man, a customer of HB but having no cause to visit their various yards across London. If Lechmere was picking up provincial horseflesh from Broad Street, he may well have delivered that to Islington, Wandsworth etc

                Gary






                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                  4096 days equals 11,22 years, John. And 11,22 years apparently fall into the 97,5 per cent group. So how 13 years would be "highly unusual", I fail to see. Add the Tottenham case and we are in the clear, right?
                  Let's also agree that we have no idea whether the suggested combined killer struck inbetween. There is even the possibility that he did so in an unmistakable manner, but the murder/s may have gone lost to us. They could well be listed as disappearances only - or they may have gone unlisted.

                  Regardless, I think we must allow for inclusions of all types that are "unusual". Statistics are fine, but allowing them to rule out statistical anomalies just don't work. If it did, we could rule out serial murder as a whole, since it is against statistics in the first place.
                  Hmmm, I rather suspect the distribution they're working with is highly skewed. Generally, though, when you take a specific case and it falls outside the upper and lower 2.5% cut offs for a distribution, it's considered unusual (unusually short, or unusually long; so the 5% of "extreme" cases are considered unusual - or rare events). For a proper comparison, though, one would need to take all murders (covering the same time period as the serial killers) and work out the random probability of obtaining such a long interval (how likely is it to pick two murders at random, that are not connected to each other) and get such a long interval? Then you can compare the probability of a serial producing the observed interval (something less than 2.5%) and the probability of two randomly selected murders over the same time period having such a larger interval (which we don't know). If the latter is more common, say 10%, then you know it's 4:1 odds that the crimes are not connected (not by a serial), but if the latter is less common (say 0.6%), then the odds are roughly 4:1 in favor of it being connected (a serial).

                  - Jeff

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                    I would say that the cutting away of portions of the abdominal wall is very hard forensic evidence, regardless of the fact that we cannot tell how the portions compared to each other.
                    Have a look at the Albright case - the women slain in Dallas in 1991, two of them on the same street, even. All three had their eyeballs removed with great skill. Charles Albright was technically linked to one case, by means of strands of his hair being found on the victim. He was convicted in that single case, and remains under suspicion for the other two.
                    Can there be any sensible doubt that he killed all three? Is it likely that there were two eyeball snatchers on the prowl in Dallas in 1991? Or three?
                    I say emphatically no.
                    And to me, the same goes for the question whether it is likely that there were two men cutting away abdominal walls in London in 1888-89. It is unlikely in the extreme. Then again, as I said before, we cannot always rely on statistics, because statistically unexpected things DO occur. But the similarities are too many and too odd for it to be any real likelihood this time.
                    So it´s another emphatic no.
                    In afraid it doesn't remotely amount to hard forensic evidence, as Dr Biggs made abundantly clear.

                    For instance, was any body imaging carried out? Tool mark analysis? 3-d X-Ray scan? CT scan? More specifically, considering, say, the Kelly and Jackson cases, here are a few of the questions that Rutty (2017) suggests a forensic anthropologist might pose. Was any of this done? :


                    "What is the exact anatomical location of each of the marks?
                    Has soft tissue been removed from the bone to visualize the cut surface(s)?
                    If soft tissue has been removed have, have the implements used been recorded, measured and imaged?
                    Is the cut mark associated with dismemberment/attempted dismemberment?
                    If yes, is the mark a complete cut through bone/partial cut through the bone/false start/other?
                    What is the length and width of each of the cut marks?
                    Is the mark associated with other cut marks? What is the association?
                    What is the shape of the cross-section of the kerf (if not completely cut through the bone)?
                    What is the degree of bone wastage caused by the implement?
                    What is the degree of decomposition/taponomoc change seen?
                    Were the remains vulnerable to possible scavenging during the post mortem period?
                    Were there any indication of animal activity in the area? If so, which species?
                    Were the remains vulnerable to any other taphonomic influences that might cause artefacts that could resemble cut marks? For example, trampling, stony ground, burial?
                    Did the recovery process involve any risk of damage to the cut areas?
                    Have all the marks been recorded on a skeletal recording form and been described with contemporaneous notes using clear indications of proximal and distal, etc?
                    Has the masceration method been recorded including photographs before, during and after the process, the method used and the time of the start and finish of the process?
                    Have all the marks been photographed with and without a scale?
                    Have all the marks been photographed using a macro as well as a normal lens?
                    Has photography included all possible views of the cut marks (e.g. cross-sections of the kerf and macro images of the striatuons?)
                    Has an identification system (letters/numbers) been incorporated into the photographs for later identification during review of the images?"

                    With respect, you cannot simply refer to something extremely generalized, such as the cutting away of abdominal walls, and argue that represents a match. For instance, in respect of Kelly we appear to have a perpetrator who has committed an aggressive assault on the body, demonstrating no particular skill whatsoever. Pieces may have simply been hacked out.

                    That's not remotely what happened in the Jackson case, where a completely different method and purpose can be discerned. For example, Jackson would have been heavily pregnant, meaning the uterus would be greatly enlarged, making body disposal more difficult. Now, considering that the foetus was removed, and that the strips of skin from the abdominal wall were wrapped up in a parcel, containing the uterus, cord and placenta, it's reasonable to conclude that the perpetrator's prime motive in cutting into the abdominal wall was to access the foetus, for purposes of removal, in order to better facilitate body disposal. Although, I believe shock value may have been a secondary purpose.

                    The Albright case is different, in that the removal of the eyeballs is very rare and very specific. And something that serves von practical purpose. There's also a close geographical link-very different to the Torso and C5 cases, which indicate two completely different geographical profiles. However, the fact that Albright was only convicted of one murder only serves to demonstrate how difficult it is, even in the modern era, to prove forensic links.




                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Fisherman
                      [Is it] likely that there were two men cutting away abdominal walls in London in 1888-89?
                      Whoever mutilated Elizabeth Jackson did not "cut away her abdominal wall", only a comparatively small portion of it, comprising two flaps or strips of flesh, seemingly from the navel down to the pubis. A possibly larger hole was made in Annie Chapman's abdomen in three flaps, but even her killer didn't "cut away her abdominal wall", only part of it, with more flesh being removed from her right hand side than the left. Only in Mary Kelly's case can it can truly be said that her killer "cut away her abdominal wall" - almost entirely so, from flank to flank and from sternum to pelvis, in three huge flaps.

                      The manner in which the abdomens were opened differed widely, which suggests at least two different perpetrators at work. There were also differences in the extent to which the underlying viscera were exposed, which suggests that different motivations/purposes were at work, too.
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        well I guess I wont need to worry about availability of this book anymore. Been following it here and on the other forum and it appears there is not only NOT a detailed examination of the torsos, there is many very basic features that the authors get incorrect in general. very disappointing.

                        oh well, now will someone please write a good book on the torsos!
                        "Is all that we see or seem
                        but a dream within a dream?"

                        -Edgar Allan Poe


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

                        -Frederick G. Abberline

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                          Hmmm, I rather suspect the distribution they're working with is highly skewed. Generally, though, when you take a specific case and it falls outside the upper and lower 2.5% cut offs for a distribution, it's considered unusual (unusually short, or unusually long; so the 5% of "extreme" cases are considered unusual - or rare events). For a proper comparison, though, one would need to take all murders (covering the same time period as the serial killers) and work out the random probability of obtaining such a long interval (how likely is it to pick two murders at random, that are not connected to each other) and get such a long interval? Then you can compare the probability of a serial producing the observed interval (something less than 2.5%) and the probability of two randomly selected murders over the same time period having such a larger interval (which we don't know). If the latter is more common, say 10%, then you know it's 4:1 odds that the crimes are not connected (not by a serial), but if the latter is less common (say 0.6%), then the odds are roughly 4:1 in favor of it being connected (a serial).

                          - Jeff
                          Statistics are a fun pastime when it comes to looking at murder cases. They offer insights at a general level, but they cannot in retrospect change the case details and their implications.
                          When we say that it is unusual to kill with long intervals, we point to a generalistic picture only, a picture where there will be all sorts of exceptions to the rule, just as serial killing is an exception to the rule that people generally don't kill, least of all in spades.

                          In the case at hand, we know that there are inclusions of odd similarities within the two series we are looking at, and so general statistics will have to take a step back in respect of that fact.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            I don't care how you slice it (sorry, couldn't help myself) cutting away of the stomach flesh in flaps, or sections, call them whatever you like, is very specific. post mortem serial killers who mutilate a victims body and remove body parts is about the rarest you can find (someone posted something from a FBI study a while back where they compared common traits and this type of post mortem mutilation was by far the rarest) and to think that you have two different men around the same time who cut pieces of flesh away from the stomach to gain access to the inside of the body is too much of a coincidence for me.
                            "Is all that we see or seem
                            but a dream within a dream?"

                            -Edgar Allan Poe


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

                            -Frederick G. Abberline

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                              Whoever mutilated Elizabeth Jackson did not "cut away her abdominal wall", only a comparatively small portion of it, comprising two flaps or strips of flesh, seemingly from the navel down to the pubis. A possibly larger hole was made in Annie Chapman's abdomen in three flaps, but even her killer didn't "cut away her abdominal wall", only part of it, with more flesh being removed from her right hand side than the left. Only in Mary Kelly's case can it can truly be said that her killer "cut away her abdominal wall" - almost entirely so, from flank to flank and from sternum to pelvis, in three huge flaps.

                              The manner in which the abdomens were opened differed widely, which suggests at least two different perpetrators at work. There were also differences in the extent to which the underlying viscera were exposed, which suggests that different motivations/purposes were at work, too.
                              Let's be perfectly clear here, before we start tearing at each others hair again, I have too little to spare for that.

                              A/ We do not know that only a comparatively small part of Jacksons abdominal wall was cut away. More to the point, we do not have any measurements at all of the flaps lost. We have paper reports stating that they represented either the whole of the abdominal wall or the whole of the lower abdominal wall. Whichever is correct, it is important NOT to allow the issue to descend into any quibbling over whether the flaps were ten or eleven inches long, because that is of very inferior value to the discussion. All we know is that in the Kelly case, the Chapman case and the Jackson case, flaps of the abdominal wall were cut away from the body.

                              If we had had exact knowledge of the sizes ann/or shapes, then we could of course discuss those matters, but we do not, and accordingly, we cannot say that it was only a comparatively small portion of the abdominal wall that went missing in Jacksons case. We should be honest and upright and say as it is: we don't know how much of the abdomen that was cut away or the exact shape of the flaps, we only know that large flaps of the abdomen DID go lost in all three cases. The flaps can have been squarish, oblong, round, jagged, smooth or octagonal in the Kelly and Chapman cases, just as they may have been very close in shape to the Jackson flaps.

                              As an aside, we don´t know that all of Kellys abdominal wall was lost, there may well have been some flesh left somewhere.

                              I hope that you will not object to these clear points.

                              You claim that the abdomens were opened in "widely varying" manners. Please detail this statement of yours and tell us how you reached the conclusion. As far as I understand, the abdomens were all cut open by way of knife and as far as I understand, they may well have been opened in quite similar ways. Again, if you can disprove that, then do so.

                              You also claim that the underlying viscera was exposed in varying degrees, and that may well be true - to a degree. But how does that point to two killers and not to one? Why is it likelier that we have another killer on stage if the spleen cannot be seen in none case but in another?

                              Isn't it more credible to say that whoever cut these abdominal "lids" away to an extent, laid the abdominal viscera open to the eye to a smaller or lesser degree in ALL cases, and that THIS is what is the common denominator?

                              Do you really think that if five women loose their abdominal walls to smaller or lesser extents, then if five varying amounts of visible innards is the result, it is more likely with five killers than with just the one...?

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                [QUOTE=John G;n713081]

                                In afraid it doesn't remotely amount to hard forensic evidence, as Dr Biggs made abundantly clear.

                                It amounts to evidence that tells us that three women had part of their abdominal walls taken away. That IS hard forensic evidence, albeit with no measurements given. If three murder victims have their left feet sawed off, should we forget about it until we have the exact angles of the cuts, John?

                                For instance, was any body imaging carried out? Tool mark analysis? 3-d X-Ray scan? CT scan? More specifically, considering, say, the Kelly and Jackson cases, here are a few of the questions that Rutty (2017) suggests a forensic anthropologist might pose. Was any of this done? :


                                "What is the exact anatomical location of each of the marks?
                                Has soft tissue been removed from the bone to visualize the cut surface(s)?
                                If soft tissue has been removed have, have the implements used been recorded, measured and imaged?
                                Is the cut mark associated with dismemberment/attempted dismemberment?
                                If yes, is the mark a complete cut through bone/partial cut through the bone/false start/other?
                                What is the length and width of each of the cut marks?
                                Is the mark associated with other cut marks? What is the association?
                                What is the shape of the cross-section of the kerf (if not completely cut through the bone)?
                                What is the degree of bone wastage caused by the implement?
                                What is the degree of decomposition/taponomoc change seen?
                                Were the remains vulnerable to possible scavenging during the post mortem period?
                                Were there any indication of animal activity in the area? If so, which species?
                                Were the remains vulnerable to any other taphonomic influences that might cause artefacts that could resemble cut marks? For example, trampling, stony ground, burial?
                                Did the recovery process involve any risk of damage to the cut areas?
                                Have all the marks been recorded on a skeletal recording form and been described with contemporaneous notes using clear indications of proximal and distal, etc?
                                Has the masceration method been recorded including photographs before, during and after the process, the method used and the time of the start and finish of the process?
                                Have all the marks been photographed with and without a scale?
                                Have all the marks been photographed using a macro as well as a normal lens?
                                Has photography included all possible views of the cut marks (e.g. cross-sections of the kerf and macro images of the striatuons?)
                                Has an identification system (letters/numbers) been incorporated into the photographs for later identification during review of the images?"

                                None of these points are crucial to determine whether portions of the abdominal wall were taken away from each victim. None of them dissolve the fact that we KNOW that this happened. Returning to the sawed off feet, it would be informative to have them X-ray scanned, but no X-ray scan in the world would take away the fact that they were sawed off.

                                With respect, you cannot simply refer to something extremely generalized, such as the cutting away of abdominal walls, and argue that represents a match. For instance, in respect of Kelly we appear to have a perpetrator who has committed an aggressive assault on the body, demonstrating no particular skill whatsoever. Pieces may have simply been hacked out.

                                Can you explain to me how it is "extremely generalized" to have the abdominal wall taken away in portions? It is in fact anything BUT "generalized" - it is extremely uncommon. And that is REGARDLESS if we have X-rays of the abdomens or not.
                                I do not want to annoy you, John, but surely it would be utterly ridiculous to look away from these details on account of how we do not know their exact measurements?
                                Removed portions from the abdominal wall.
                                Removed hearts.
                                Removed uteri.
                                Cuts from sternum to pelvis.
                                Prostituted victims.
                                Same town.
                                Same time.

                                Before Gareth blows his top again, I will point out that these are inclusions in both series, not something that happened to all victims. Okay, Gareth?


                                That's not remotely what happened in the Jackson case, where a completely different method and purpose can be discerned.

                                No!!! It can be SUGGESTED only! The method and purpose may well have been the exact same - a cut by knife to allow access to the abdominal cavity and the innards. What you personally THINK you discern is not everybody rule for what can be seen, John!

                                For example, Jackson would have been heavily pregnant, meaning the uterus would be greatly enlarged, making body disposal more difficult. Now, considering that the foetus was removed, and that the strips of skin from the abdominal wall were wrapped up in a parcel, containing the uterus, cord and placenta, it's reasonable to conclude that the perpetrator's prime motive in cutting into the abdominal wall was to access the foetus, for purposes of removal, in order to better facilitate body disposal. Although, I believe shock value may have been a secondary purpose.

                                Yes, it is pretty obvious that the killer took an interest in the fetus, otherwise he would not have cut it out. But how does that tell us that he is any different from, say, Eddowes´killer? He took a uterus and a kidney there, apparently because he took an interest in THOSE parts in THAT case. And she was not pregnant, so how do we know that he would not have taken her foetus too, given the chance?
                                Is it not true that we have a killer in BOTH cases who seems interested in what can be taken out of the abdominal cavity?


                                The Albright case is different, in that the removal of the eyeballs is very rare and very specific.

                                How is taking the abdominal wall away in portions NOT very rare and very specific, John?

                                And something that serves von practical purpose.

                                von? Should that be a "no"? If so, what "practical purpose" does it serve to cut a foetus out from a woman´s uterus? How are you reasoning?

                                There's also a close geographical link-very different to the Torso and C5 cases, which indicate two completely different geographical profiles.

                                Please, John - we don't know where the torso victims were procured. The Ripper victims were not dumped. So there can be no comparison. But we DO know that we have a cross-over victim in Pinchin Street!

                                However, the fact that Albright was only convicted of one murder only serves to demonstrate how difficult it is, even in the modern era, to prove forensic links.

                                Yes! And the gouged out eyeballs tell us that we don't NEED exact forensic evidence to make a call that is 99,999 per cent certain to be correct anyway. Plus there is the legal issue of how the prosecution had already reached its goal to have Albright sent down for life. To press the two other cases with no forensic evidence would perhaps work, perhaps not and in the end, the outcome would be the same for Albright, so it saved money and time not to push on.



                                Last edited by Fisherman; 06-13-2019, 01:59 PM.

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