No announcement yet.

Ripperologist 159

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
    Jack the Ripper's supposed signature was murdering prostitutes, not former prostitutes.
    Originally posted by caz View Post
    If he was only interested in murdering prostitutes because he had a thing about them, then it was his signature - no question
    The serial killer Ed Kemper targeted young college women but then went on to murder a family member. William Bury targeted prostitutes, or women he thought to be prostitutes, and then went on to murder a family member. There’s nothing here in terms of a worthwhile objection to Bury.
    “When a major serial killer case is finally solved and all the paperwork completed, police are sometimes amazed at how obvious the killer was and how they were unable to see what was right before their noses.” —Robert D. Keppel and William J. Birnes, The Psychology of Serial Killer Investigations

    William Bury, Victorian Murderer


    • #17
      Just to make clear for those who aren't following properly, the notion that part of Jack the Ripper's signature characteristic is murdering prostitutes is what Keppell and others say in their 2004 article, "The Jack the Ripper Murders: A Modus Operandi and Signature Analysis of the 1888-1891 Whitechapel Murders." Hence:

      "The initial analyses demonstrated that many of the individual characteristics and the combination of the signature characteristics observed in the Jack the Ripper murders were rare. In fact, murderers who stab and kill female prostitutes, leave their bodies in unusual positions, and probe, explore, or mutilate body cavities are extremely rare. It would be extremely unusual to find more than one of these killers, exhibiting that combination of signature characteristics, operating in the same area at the same time."

      This is an article that Steve Earp relies on to show that Bury's "signature evidence" was the same as Jack the Ripper's and that such evidence would be admissible in a criminal case against Bury. If you remove "female prostitutes" from the equation, however, then as the authors of the 2005 article admit, the combination of remaining characteristics is less rare.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
        I understood his remark to mean that there is no reliable evidence against anyone in the case. That is where I disagreed with him. The signature evidence linking Bury to the Ripper murders is in principle sufficiently reliable to be admissible in court.
        I have no idea why you feel the need to substitute the word "reliable" for "firm" but it doesn't make much difference. All you are doing here is confirming exactly what I am saying, namely that you erroneously believe that admissible evidence equates to firm or reliable evidence. This is completely wrong.

        Just consider identification evidence. This is a category of evidence which is admissible in a court of law. Yet anyone in the legal world will tell you it is one of the most unreliable forms of evidence.

        Admissibility in other words has got nothing to do with whether evidence is reliable. The fact that signature evidence might in theory be admissible in court does not mean that the evidence is reliable nor does it mean that a jury would not reject it out of hand.

        I suspect that Adam Wood is perfectly capable of weighing up whether the similarities that exist between the murders of Ellen Bury and those of the victims in Whitechapel are sufficiently close to allow him to form a conclusion as to whether there is sufficiently strong evidence against Bury for the Whitechapel murders. As I keep repeating, whether that evidence is admissible in court or not is neither here nor there.

        Basically, it means that Adam has not made a "mistake" and it's just wrong of you to say that he has.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
          The Ellen Bury murder can be closely mapped to Jack the Ripper’s signature as described by Keppel et al. I demonstrate this in my article, and Table 2 in my article highlights the closeness of the match. The variations that exist are not significant and can easily be explained by the specific circumstances of the murder.
          But that's just your opinion. A defence barrister, in arguing to exclude the evidence, would surely say that the variations suggest there were two different murderers. How would a judge (or jury if it came to it) know that you are not cherry picking - focussing on the similarities while ignoring the differences? And how would they know that your explanations for the differences are correct? How would they know that the differences don't mean there are two different murderers? After all, it is only you who claims to be able to explain the differences between the two signatures.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
            There are two separate questions we need to consider. First, can we, as an investigative body, satisfy ourselves that William Bury was Jack the Ripper? The answer to that is “yes.”
            This is just your opinion though. Others might reasonably say that the evidence against him is not firm enough.

            Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
            No one in this field has been able to put forward an effective criticism of the ID that I’ve published.
            Has anyone actually tried? You should not take silence as an admission that your article can't be effectively criticised. Perhaps no-one thinks it is worth taking time to do so. Have you considered that?

            Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
            It’s a solid ID—the evidence is there and the reasoning is sound.
            In your opinion.

            Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
            Second, could we obtain a conviction of William Bury for the Jack the Ripper murders in a hypothetical trial? That is an open question. It is possible that the signature evidence linking Bury to the Ripper murders would be excluded at a trial, which would obviously lessen the likelihood of obtaining a conviction. It's also possible that it would be included at a trial, which would obviously increase the likelihood of a conviction. You seem preoccupied with the second question, but I’d suggest that in 2018 the more important question is the first one.
            Do you mean to say that I seem preoccupied with the first question? As to that, if the signature evidence, which you describe yourself as the "key evidence", was excluded there wouldn't be any realistic chance of a conviction would there? If it was included a conviction is by no means guaranteed by any means - a jury would expect there to be, at the very least, strong circumstantial evidence linking Bury with the Whitechapel murders and would never convict on signature evidence alone, especially not with all the differences which exist. If a conviction is not guaranteed then Adam Wood is surely justified as describing the evidence against Bury as not firm and has not, therefore, made any mistake.

            Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
            Bury confessed to murdering Ellen, and we have no compelling reason to disregard his confession, but he was recently acquitted of her murder in the mock trial held in Dundee. Should that acquittal cause us as a community to declare him innocent of Ellen’s murder? Of course not. A negative result from a legal proceeding against Bury for the Ripper murders would not “sink” the identification of William Bury as Jack the Ripper.
            You seem to be arguing with an imaginary person. I haven't said anything about the mock trial nor do I care what some people in Dundee have concluded about the murder of Ellen Bury.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Wyatt Earp View Post
              I’ve given you three sources for that in footnote 3 in “The Bury ID.” David, if you intend to be a serious participant in the conversation about the signature evidence linking Bury to the Ripper murders, please consider making some effort to familiarize yourself with the signature analysis literature. A good book for you to obtain would be Serial Violence: Analysis of Modus Operandi and Signature Characteristics of Killers by Keppel and Birnes.
              Although you have quoted me saying:

              "Firstly, where is your authority that variation is an established characteristic of signature evidence? It will make a nonsense of the word "signature" if that's true."

              You appear to have completely missed it when I said:

              "Secondly, and far more importantly, do you have even one example of a legal case where signature evidence has been admitted in evidence in a murder case (or even another serious crime) where there are significant variations between the signatures in different crimes?"

              You didn't respond to that so I assume you don't have any examples.

              As for your response to the first point I don't think I need to look at the book you refer to because in the 2005 Keppel et al article to I read this on page 14:

              "Experience and confidence will shape and modify an offender’s MO. Signature characteristics, or a killer’s calling card, are those actions that are unique to the offender and go beyond what is necessary to kill the victim. While MO can change over time and reflect the nature of the crime, signature characteristics remain stable and reflect the nature of offender. Although an offender’s signature may evolve, the core features of the signature will remain constant (Douglas & Munn, 1992a; 1992b; Douglas & Olshaker, 1997; Geberth, 1996; 2003; Keppel & Birnes, 1997; Keppel, 1995a; 1995b; Keppel, 2000; 2004)."

              So that seems pretty clear to me. The "core features of the signature will remain constant". If the "core features" of the Ripper's signature were the 11 features listed by the authors of the article, one would have surely expected them to remain constant from murder to murder. But they are not constant in this case.


              • #22
                “First, can we, as an investigative body, satisfy ourselves that William Bury was Jack the Ripper? The answer to that is “yes.”

                I’ve just read through the thread but found it rather difficult to get past this statement. The answer should have been a categorical ‘no.’

                You appear to be arguing for the importance of signatures on the one hand whilst accepting that they can vary greatly from murder to murder or that some signatures can even be absent due to circumstances (but as long as we understand those circumstances we can excuse their absence.) Surely this is rather shaky ground to be driving such confident stakes into?

                Bury is, in my opinion, a reasonable suspect. But there is no suspect yet that we can positively link to all of these crimes. Though I’m no expert in the legal system I fail to see how a prosecution could even get a case together that would have the remotest chance of convincing a jury of Bury’s guilt. Far more real evidence would be required. Behavioural evidence surely cannot be considered to carry the same weight as physical evidence? Behaviour is too much a variable; subject to outside influences. And at a distance of 130 years we are in no position to judge those variables.


                “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.


                • #23
                  The recent mock Wm Bury trial was virtue signalling against capital punishment.

                  Last edited by Roy Corduroy; 03-10-2018, 05:35 PM.
                  Sink the Bismark


                  • #24
                    Virtue signalling or not, is it possible that Ellen Bury hanged herself? Of course it is. Doesn't mean she did, but it's still possible in light of the evidence, whether Bury had been (mis)sentenced to death or life imprisonment.
                    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)