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  • #16
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    E.J.H.
    How about Ian Fleming?
    Okay, didn't know about that conspiracy theory, but actually this is not the kind of research I'd like to focus on. It has to be a real criminal case involving writings/a criminal who wrote. I enjoy to read about a lot of things but precisely because I tend to spread myself, I'd like to keep the same direction in this personal project. Thanks for your understanding

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    • #17
      E.J.H.
      It was real.It had all the elements you mention.It is not known about because of the secrecy that surrounded it.You can read about it in one of Fleming's novels,but it needs interpretation.As do most cryptic communications of the type you seem to want.
      However,I accept it is more of an historical than criminal incident,and would need a different kind of research,which is probably beyond your scope.

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      • #18
        Hello EJH
        Maury Travis was a serial killer of several prostitutes in the St Louis area (circa 2000) whose taunting letter-writing to the local newspaper led to his identification and apprehension.

        Another serial killer could be the Otaku murderer in Japan. He sent the remains of one of his child victim to her family along with the postcard reading: "Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove."

        Then there's Slavemaster who used the Internet to procure his victims as well as sending red-herring letters to the family of his victims.

        I wanted to provide various examples of ways that serial killers have communicated themselves through the course of their murders ie. playing egotistical games at the expense of the police, or humiliating the victim's family, or by using writing to lure victims as well as being deceptive for the sake of self-preservation.
        ​​​
        Last edited by Robert St Devil; 06-23-2020, 06:46 AM.
        there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
          Hello EJH
          Maury Travis was a serial killer of several prostitutes in the St Louis area (circa 2000) whose taunting letter-writing to the local newspaper led to his identification and apprehension.

          Another serial killer could be the Otaku murderer in Japan. He sent the remains of one of his child victim to her family along with the postcard reading: "Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove."

          Then there's Slavemaster who used the Internet to procure his victims as well as sending red-herring letters to the family of his victims.

          I wanted to provide various examples of ways that serial killers have communicated themselves through the course of their murders ie. playing egotistical games at the expense of the police, or humiliating the victim's family, or by using writing to lure victims as well as being deceptive for the sake of self-preservation.
          ​​​
          Oh thank you, that's perfect, that's exactly what I was looking for! All these cases look very interesting, I can't wait to learn more about them. Thanks again!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by E.J.H. View Post

            Oh thank you, that's perfect, that's exactly what I was looking for! All these cases look very interesting, I can't wait to learn more about them. Thanks again!

            Best of luck on your endeavor EJH, I'd hope you share your project when you have completed it.


            I was never in the "100% Unlikely" camp regarding the more popular JtR letters, not when there are 20th and 21st century cases where the serial killer opted for correspondence. I've also pondered the link between the uncommon course of action of communicating the crime(s) since silence seems an attributed aspect inherent to the career criminal. Alas, therein may lay the answer since many of these killers (apart from compartmentalizing their sadistic deeds) seem to have led unassuming daily existences. For example, Dennis Rader kept a family, worked for his church, and acted as a scout master; and, apart from sharing similar misspellings with the letters being printed in the newspaper, there was no obvious clue that pointed to him being the dreaded BTK haunting the Wichita community.

            If you are seeking parallels with Jack the Ripper, I would first point you in the direction of the St. Louis Strangler aka Maury Travis. He was triggered to communicate after reading an article in the newspaper which humanized his first victim. It has shades of "Dear Boss" where the writer seems triggered by the unsatisfactory title of "Leather Apron" (if you are prone to associate that letter with the Whitechapel murderer). In his letter, Travis calls the journalist's prose a "sob story" and provides a map to the location of another victim. It was thru tracing the IP address of the downloaded Expedia map that the authorities were able to apprehend him.
            there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

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            • #21
              One last writing angle. There is also John Humble, the hoaxer who threw authorities off the trail of Peter Sutcliffe.
              there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

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              • #22
                Regarding Jack the Ripper, I personally don't think he wrote letters. My angle for that case was more the societal study of ordinary citizens deciding to pose as a serial killer the time of a letter, with parallels on contemporary SK fandoms. I don't know if it would be fine to post that article here but if you're interested, I can send you the link in private. It would be a pleasure to discuss with you on the matter.
                I also think that most killers are living in their own world and that communication with the public is not a priority for them, but on the other hand, the attraction of celebrity has gradually risen in criminality. I will dig in the Maury TRavis' case as it seems to be an interesting example of an in-between situation, the criminal looking to make their "voice" heard (so to speak). Thanks also for the Humbler tip, it definitely looks like another pertinent lead for my reflection.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by E.J.H. View Post
                  Regarding Jack the Ripper, I personally don't think he wrote letters. My angle for that case was more the societal study of ordinary citizens deciding to pose as a serial killer the time of a letter, with parallels on contemporary SK fandoms. I don't know if it would be fine to post that article here but if you're interested, I can send you the link in private. It would be a pleasure to discuss with you on the matter.
                  I also think that most killers are living in their own world and that communication with the public is not a priority for them, but on the other hand, the attraction of celebrity has gradually risen in criminality. I will dig in the Maury TRavis' case as it seems to be an interesting example of an in-between situation, the criminal looking to make their "voice" heard (so to speak). Thanks also for the Humbler tip, it definitely looks like another pertinent lead for my reflection.
                  Sounds interesting, I'm sure it would be appreciated here.
                  Thems the Vagaries.....

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                  • #24
                    Okay, let's try Just a disclaimer: this is a humble try on gathering random thoughts on the subject, plus English language is not my native language. So feel free to point out mistakes, both in syntax and in assumptions. The goal is to start a conversation, explore the ideas etc. I'm waiting for your feedback and also suggestions in how to extend the series. Thanks in advance.
                    Let's take a closer look at the 700 letters received during the Jack the Ripper case and what they can tell us about humanity and true crime.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                      One last writing angle. There is also John Humble, the hoaxer who threw authorities off the trail of Peter Sutcliffe.
                      Hi E.J.H. - I was going to mention John Humble but Robert beat me to it. Humble was sentenced to 8 years for perverting the course of justice. Although I've no issue with the sentence given to this dreadful wretch, I do question whether the lesser charge of wasting police time (which admittedly would have carried a lesser sentence) would have been more appropriate. It was not so much perversion of justice by Humble but police incompetence that delayed Sutcliffe's arrest and resulted in more lives being killed.

                      Another case in which a letter played an incredibly important opening part was The Cameo Murders of 1949 in Liverpool. A cinema manager and his assistant were shot and killed during a botched robbery. The investigation was slowly going nowhere until it was apparently kickstarted by an anonymous letter to the police from minor associates to the crime seeking immunity in exchange for details of the two main players. This ultimately led to the trial, retrial, conviction and execution of George Kelly whilst his alleged partner Charles Connolly was sentenced to 10 years following his separate retrial and a plea bargain to escape the noose. Both - including Connolly despite him pleading guilty to robbery and conspiracy - were posthumously pardoned by the Court of Appeal more than fifty years later. A fascinating case and judgement in which the leading police officer at the time was severely criticised. [If you are interested in following up further, there's a decent wiki page on The Cameo Murders for a recommended starter.]

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                      • #26
                        Thanks OneRound, it's indeed another intriguing lead, I will look into it!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                          If would be a real turn up for the books if we could find a letter penned by the person known as "Jack the Ripper."
                          I think its possible a man who was responsible for some of the Canonical murders likely did write at least 1 letter we know of Simon. To Lusk. IF the man who killed Polly and Annie also killed Kate, then for me the package and note Lusk gets is probably what they present themselves as. A piece of Kate and what I interpret as a threat to Lusk is a powerful message.

                          I admit Im really not certain someone might have just used the premise to create an impression, but I think that communique might well have been from the actual killer of some of the Canonicals. If he killed Kate.
                          Michael Richards

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                          • #28
                            Is there a common characteristic among those that communicate details of their wrongdoing? Something that can be deduced as being a reason why they wish to be listened to.As has been pointed out,it is now not only by writing letters that communication can be made,but filmed and audio means are available and have been used.As only a small proportion of wrongdoers seem to have a need to use such methods,then maybe it is possible,by studying those known,to form an opinion.So in my own case I would consider arrogance as a contribution.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by harry View Post
                              Is there a common characteristic among those that communicate details of their wrongdoing? Something that can be deduced as being a reason why they wish to be listened to.As has been pointed out,it is now not only by writing letters that communication can be made,but filmed and audio means are available and have been used.As only a small proportion of wrongdoers seem to have a need to use such methods,then maybe it is possible,by studying those known,to form an opinion.So in my own case I would consider arrogance as a contribution.
                              I was going down the same path, Harry, wondering if there was a common pathology for the certain type of serial killer who desires to communicate their crime. And being the quasi-intellectual ripperologist, I've determined that I really don't know. Immediately I separated the handful of taunting sadists from the other types ie. those guilt-stricken killers who willingly confess their crime in the wake of their murders. And, I find myself in agreement with you, being that underlying their mindset is a dormant arrogance that is unrecognizable to family, community or society at large. If we were to experience an encounter with one of these people, we would be want to dismiss the tells of such arrogance as being nothing more than a personality quirk (the lone weirdo is termed "antisocial"; the bombastic impudent is labeled "an ass"). Still, there is one word that I keep encountering as I dive further into these true crimes, a word that has been diluted (albeit lost) in mythology, a perfect word that requires a contemporary definition; that word being, monster. This arrogance (to me, at least) does seem like an inhabiting monstrous entity which has power to encompass its' host. And tales of "the monster under the bed" or "the monster in the closet" become metaphorical for a malevolent being that hauntingly resides within the safe-structure of the mind (like a demon inhabiting the comforts of your bedroom). And, much like we dismiss arrogance as nothing more than rudeness, we dismiss monsters as fabrications of fairy tales.

                              Still, to investigate the umbrella-term "monster" in contemporary terms, I suspect that there are characteristics which might be commonalities (to name a few):
                              1. Sadism & Bondage
                              2. Control & Organization
                              3. Perversion & Humiliation
                              4. Awareness & Manipulation
                              5. Arrogance & Lack of remorse

                              {To example how these terms are realized: Many of these murderers operate with a "killer's toolbag" which is comprised of bondage equipment (such as handcuffs, rope, duct tape); this aspect demonstrates their organizational habits as they modify their murder-technique. They have an awareness (not that what they are doing is wrong) that their crimes are socially unacceptable so they take effort to maintain the monster apart from society and attempt to participate in the greater structure as much as their intellect will allow them; yet, that monster is sensitive to provocation (eg inebriation, lust, obsession, an article of journalism) and want to wake from its' dormancy They typically have a sexual fascination with bondage which has existed as long as they can remember. They demonstrate no remorse when apprehended. Etcetera etcetera ad nauseum.}

                              But for those killers who communicate, I'd probably defer to the commonly- given answer. It appeals to the killer's pathological need for complete control, it serves a manipulative sense of humor, and/or it allows them to vicariously live out their crimes.

                              EJH

                              Here's a link to a 20-minute video about Maury Travis. I read your article; the sentence where you wrote "the thrill of being a monster" stuck with me.

                              https://youtu.be/ON0LLyk_xnQ
                              there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post

                                Still, there is one word that I keep encountering as I dive further into these true crimes, a word that has been diluted (albeit lost) in mythology, a perfect word that requires a contemporary definition; that word being, monster. This arrogance (to me, at least) does seem like an inhabiting monstrous entity which has power to encompass its' host. And tales of "the monster under the bed" or "the monster in the closet" become metaphorical for a malevolent being that hauntingly resides within the safe-structure of the mind (like a demon inhabiting the comforts of your bedroom). And, much like we dismiss arrogance as nothing more than rudeness, we dismiss monsters as fabrications of fairy tales.
                                That's a very interesting point. Sometimes, psychopathy seems to fail at defining some killers. It is fiction for sure, but I've always thought that Dexter Morgan's "dark passenger" was a well-coined attempt to describe the seemingly haunted condition of evil-doers.

                                Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                                But for those killers who communicate, I'd probably defer to the commonly- given answer. It appeals to the killer's pathological need for complete control, it serves a manipulative sense of humor, and/or it allows them to vicariously live out their crimes.
                                So, if we take the Dexter's parable, would you rather say that the part of their personality trying to communicate is the one with the killing urges, or the one still willing to fit in our society and trying to rationalize the murders?

                                Originally posted by Robert St Devil View Post
                                EJH
                                Here's a link to a 20-minute video about Maury Travis. I read your article; the sentence where you wrote "the thrill of being a monster" stuck with me.

                                https://youtu.be/ON0LLyk_xnQ
                                Thanks for the video! I'm glad you took the time to read. I've evolved in true crime and crime fiction community for a while, and I always have been fascinated (and also freaked out) by how some persons were willing to (re)live murders and acts of violence by proxy as well as how mundane their lives were in comparison. Hence this specific sentence. This is just an observation, I guess that need to be developed and discussed. Don't hesitate to add your own input to this reflection

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