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Casebook Examiner Number 6

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  • #16
    I am Spartacus.

    That is all...

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    • #17
      I would tell you my name but my cabal prohibits it. Protohistorian
      We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

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      • #18
        Me No Understand

        Hi Dave.

        I've been reading your article with Jeff Beveridge, "The 1888 Old Bailey and Press Criminal Matrix" with interest, and I have a few questions for you. Geographic mapping, computer models and mathematical matrices are admittedly not my strong suit, so please bear with me.

        I really want to understand your project, but before I even got to the more technical sections a couple of sentences at the bottom of pg.77 & top of pg.78 confused me.
        The subject being discussed is the selection of data.

        The first sentence says: “I was also more “lenient” about what crimes I selected when getting further from the Ripper crime locations." That statement kind of tripped my brain. It seems completely counter-intuitive to me. I would expect the reverse to be true- that one would be LESS "lenient" with regard to the choice of input data the farther one moved from the targeted area.

        Then the next sentence reads: "So, for example, I might record a relatively minor crime of passing bad money, or fraud in a place like Whitechapel or Spitalfields, but I would not in an area like Shoreditch or Poplar.” Now that seems more logical to me, but as far as I can tell it conflicts with the prior statement... or maybe it doesn't, and I simply misunderstood both of them?

        Can you please help me out with this? I think I need to understand the data-selection process in order to understand the project as a whole. I'll have a few other questions for you later, as I'm not very good with technical/mathematical jargon and struggle through those parts, but I'll wait until this one is squared away.

        Thanks Dave, I appreciate your help.

        Best regards,
        Archaic

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        • #19
          That was part of a not so well wrttien re write Archaic.For Whitechapel, Spitalfields, and St. Georges in the East data is as complete as i could make it regardless of position within the Macnaghten footprint. The City and Mile End New Town are selective by area within the footprint. The crimes in the count are listed on Mr. Rippers Neighborhood, crimes beyond these can be posted there and will be included. Sorry for not being clear Archaic. Data collection questions are better handled By Pinkerton as he generated the dataset and has the info you need for that. I can address plotting limitations and math, beyond that I am useless I am afraid. Dave
          We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

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          • #20
            'Edwardian Farm' Documentary

            Thanks Dave. I'll get back to ya. ("to" ya, not "at" ya )

            I read the Examiner book review of 'Edwardian Farm', and if anybody's interested it was preceded by a documentary series- or actually, two, one called 'Victorian Farm' and the other 'Edwardian Farm'. They're both very good and viewable for free on an excellent free documentary site.

            Edwardian Farm documentary: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/edwardian-farm/

            Victorian Farm documentary: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/victorian-farm/

            Best regards,
            Archaic

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            • #21
              Dam, did I just give my name away? Ignore those last 3 posts or my cabal will get pissed and I will be kicked out into non affiliated casebook oblivion. certainly not Dave
              We are all born cute as a button and dumb as rocks. We grow out of cute fast!

              Comment


              • #22
                Hi Dave.

                I've been reading your article with Jeff Beveridge, "The 1888 Old Bailey and Press Criminal Matrix" with interest, and I have a few questions for you. Geographic mapping, computer models and mathematical matrices are admittedly not my strong suit, so please bear with me.

                I really want to understand your project, but before I even got to the more technical sections a couple of sentences at the bottom of pg.77 & top of pg.78 confused me.
                The subject being discussed is the selection of data.

                The first sentence says: I was also more "lenient" about what crimes I selected when getting further from the Ripper crime locations." That statement kind of tripped my brain. It seems completely counter-intuitive to me. I would expect the reverse to be true- that one would be LESS "lenient" with regard to the choice of input data the farther one moved from the targeted area.

                Then the next sentence reads: "So, for example, I might record a relatively minor crime of passing bad money, or fraud in a place like Whitechapel or Spitalfields, but I would not in an area like Shoreditch or Poplar. Now that seems more logical to me, but as far as I can tell it conflicts with the prior statement... or maybe it doesn't, and I simply misunderstood both of them?

                Can you please help me out with this? I think I need to understand the data-selection process in order to understand the project as a whole. I'll have a few other questions for you later, as I'm not very good with technical/mathematical jargon and struggle through those parts, but I'll wait until this one is squared away.

                Thanks Dave, I appreciate your help.
                Yep, that is a genuine mistake on my part Archaic for which I apologize. It should have been "I was also more 'lenient' about what crimes I selected when getting closer to the Ripper crime locations".

                It was kind of a chaotic time for me when I wrote that part of the article. I should have proof-read it more carefully!

                Let me know if you want any further information on the dataset. I have quite a bit written on my methods that I didn't include in the article for reasons of brevity.
                Jeff

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                • #23
                  Hi Jeff. Thank you for replying. By the way, I liked what you said in the article to the effect that the more you learned about life in late Victorian London, the less you felt like you were reading about "something that had happened in the past". I think that's why I've always loved reading 19th C. literature, and why I enjoy reading all kinds of contemporary sources while doing research.

                  I do have more questions about the data-set. I'm curious as to how you chose the parameters of the data you decided to include and to exclude.

                  On page 77 you explained that you excluded suspects who had committed crimes that modern criminologists would not tend to associate with serial killers. (Gambling, etc.)
                  I understand that part and agree that a narrower focus makes sense.

                  A bit earlier in that page you stated the age group of the suspects you chose to include, and I'm wondering why the age span was so broad?
                  You said your suspects had to be "between the ages of 15-75 in the year 1888". I think you would agree, few modern criminologists would consider 75 to be an age associated with serial killing, and 15 seems very young to me. So I'm curious as to why you chose the broader range in one set of data but the narrower range in another?

                  I was also wondering if you have all this data entered on a computer program that allows you to vary the parameters of certain data-sets in order to see how doing so affects the outcome? For example, can you choose to screen out the older suspects, or maybe narrow the 20-year range of dates during which the crimes you included were committed?

                  Something tells me it's a lot harder than pushing a button, but I thought I'd ask.

                  Thanks and best regards,
                  Archaic
                  Last edited by Archaic; 02-28-2011, 06:34 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Adam,

                    I will be printing your Druitt article off next to read. But I'm curious what inspired you to research and write about Lionel Druitt?

                    Yours truly,

                    Tom Wescott

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hi Jeff. Thank you for replying. By the way, I liked what you said in the article to the effect that the more you learned about life in late Victorian London, the less you felt like you were reading about "something that had happened in the past". I think that's why I've always loved reading 19th C. literature, and why I enjoy reading all kinds of contemporary sources while doing research.

                      I do have more questions about the data-set. I'm curious as to how you chose the parameters of the data you decided to include and to exclude.

                      On page 77 you explained that you excluded suspects who had committed crimes that modern criminologists would not tend to associate with serial killers. (Gambling, etc.)
                      I understand that part and agree that a narrower focus makes sense.

                      A bit earlier in that page you stated the age group of the suspects you chose to include, and I'm wondering why the age span was so broad?
                      You said your suspects had to be "between the ages of 15-75 in the year 1888". I think you would agree, few modern criminologists would consider 75 to be an age associated with serial killing, and 15 seems very young to me. So I'm curious as to why you chose the broader range in one set of data but the narrower range in another?

                      I was also wondering if you have all this data entered on a computer program that allows you to vary the parameters of certain data-sets in order to see how doing so affects the outcome? For example, can you choose to screen out the older suspects, or maybe narrow the 20-year range of dates during which the crimes you included were committed?

                      Something tells me it's a lot harder than pushing a button, but I thought I'd ask.

                      Thanks and best regards,
                      Archaic
                      I agree Archaic. When I first started doing research it all seemed so "alien" to me. Of course there was the fact that I'm American researching British history, but then of course there is the LVP period itself. It all seemed so removed from reality at first (like reading a novel of the 19th century). However after a time it started to become "real" and I felt like I could have been reading about city dwellers from modern times. The "humanity" of individuals really struck me. Both in a positive and negative way.

                      There was the old man who begged for money for a cup of tea. The young guy responded by telling the old man that he would give him 2 out of the 3 pennies he had which he had intended to use for train fare to get home. Instead he only takes the train part of the way and walks the rest of the way (from the East End to the far west end if I recall correctly!). The old man thanked him and got his cup of tea. Unfortunately he was found dead the next day by a policeman. According to the coroner the old man had probably not eaten in DAYS and succumbed to hunger and exposure.

                      Then there was the policeman who had an eye put out by bystanders who were trying to rescue a man from police custody (I can't tell you the number of times this sort of thing happened in the East End). He had a brick thrown at his head which took his eye out, and was kicked mercilessly by the mob. He was in the hospital for days and ultimately had to leave the profession because of the extensive injuries he received.

                      Then there was the boy (a young teenager I believe) who was living at home with his parents who were away at the time. The boy had been mute for years (the cause wasn't known). While he was at home burglars broke into the house and took him hostage when the police arrived. He was finally freed when the police stormed the house. The shock of the incident caused him to regain his voice!

                      Just a few of some of the remarkable cases I came across. Anyway I should get to your question! Where does one draw the line when collecting suspects from court cases? You don't want TOO many suspects and cases otherwise it becomes too unwieldy and impractical (especially for one person to catalog). On the other hand there is always the fear that if your parameters are too narrow you might easily miss some interesting cases that on their face may not seem relevant to something as extraordinary as the Ripper murders, however in conjunction with OTHER crimes might have some relevance. I admit that the age range 15-75 might seem excessively broad to many. However there were VERY FEW crimes actually committed by those in the 60-75 age range. So including such people didn't add add much to my work load. There were a fair number in the 15-18 age range. I guess my reasoning was ultimately my belief that there was something very "out of the ordinary" about the Ripper murders that made them escape detection. That "something" could have been that the killer would have seemed "so normal" to the average Joe of the day, he could have been in a profession that made him less suspect, he could have left the area for long periods of time, etc...OR he could have been much YOUNGER or OLDER than one would suspect. Not that I believe this was the case. Statistics would tell me that this is unlikely. But that was the reasoning I used to include such a broad age range.

                      To answer your question about searching through the data it IS actually as easy as pushing a button. Everything is contained within a database. So you retrieve criminal cases by a variety of parameters. So you can search by such fields as suspect age, suspect profession, area of crime (i.e. Whitechapel, St. George in the East, Poplar, etc), street of crime, date of crime, residence of suspect, what the crime was (i.e. Attempted Murder, Assault, arson, etc.), the sentence length of crime, the resource where the crime was recorded (i.e. The Times, Lloyd's Weekly, Old Bailey, etc.), etc, etc. I also added a few special "categories" for specific types of crimes that could be flagged such as those involving prostitutes, those involving gangs, those involving victims who were female and strangers to the perpetrator, etc.). Of course you have to keep in mind that in many cases many pieces of information could not be gotten from either the newspapers or the Old Bailey court cases (such as age, profession , residence). And of course you also have to keep in mind that the suspects often LIE! They lie about their age, profession, where they live, their NAME, whether they had ever been convicted in the past, etc. Believe or not I actually found cases where I am 99% sure that person "X" WAS previously convicted of a crime and yet the court itself completely missed it! Made me feel very omnipotent when I would discover such a case.

                      As I said in the article I DO plan to put the database online and allow anyone to search it (I'm a part time web programmer). So hypothetically Archaic you could just type in say...an age range and a crime date range, hit a button and it would list all of the results on the screen or even export them to a spreadsheet. You don't have to know much about computers to use the database. If you can search for a book on a computer system at your public library then you can easily use this.
                      Jeff

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                      • #26
                        Tom:

                        If you read the article, I think you will have a much better understanding of why I chose to research Lionel.

                        I believe that Lionel is mis-understood by many people, or perhaps not understood at all, as a good portion of people know about him only as the alleged document writer incriminating his cousin Montague as the Whitechapel murderer. Not much was known about the man himself. That, coupled with the fact that exonerating MJ Druitt is one of my main aims in Ripperology, and also importantly that Lionel Druitt spent some time in the 1890's living and practicing here in Tasmania - they are the basic combination of reasons.

                        But as I said, I think you'll understand a lot more when you read the article, and I hope that you enjoy it.

                        Cheers,
                        Adam.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Another fine issue of the Examiner, folks. Nicely done! Thank you, Examiner staff and authors!

                          "What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?"" From Pyramids by Sir Terry Pratchett, a British National Treasure.

                          __________________________________

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                          • #28
                            re: Dave & Jeff's Article

                            Hello Jeff. I'm so sorry, I somehow missed your reply to me in post #25. Thanks for further explaining your project. Now I see why you used a broader age range- since you can select any range you want to analyze and screen out the others, it's a good idea cover all the bases by collecting a broader range of data.

                            So you really can just push a button, select a variable, and sort through all the data? Gee, aint technology grand?

                            Among your crime categories is there one for male-on-female violence? If so, can you then select for incidents involving prostitutes? That would be interesting to see. (Though I would imagine that a great deal of that type of violence must have gone unreported in 1888, just as it does today.)

                            Like you, I love to read history from contemporary sources and tend to get very absorbed in the details of 19th C. life and culture. Besides following one 19th C. subject very deeply, I think it's fun to follow an interesting subject until it leads to another intriguing subject, and then suddenly follow that one. One can often learn a lot by being willing to go off on a tangent.

                            Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my questions, I appreciate it.

                            Best regards, Archaic

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