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Old 04-10-2018, 07:52 PM
Hercule Poirot Hercule Poirot is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Now living in Merida, Yucatan
Posts: 252
Default Baltimore 2018 Conference feedback

I came back from the Baltimore conference and would like to share my thoughts not only as one of the speakers but as a participant.

I expected a much larger audience but prefer focusing on the content.

The topics covered were fascinating. If I compare them to last September's Liverpool conference which I attended simply as 10-12 year Ripper enthusiast, I must say I can't say which one I preferred.

Chris introduced the conference by making us one more time aware of the fragility in the way we have considered each and every one of the suspects.

Jackie Murphy offered us a view of London's Ripper danger zone not only with photos, but with these chilling words only she knows to throw carrying us 130 years ago as if we were there. A living Victorian-era encyclopedia, and such a loveable woman.

Mikita Brottman intrigued all of us with this mysterious death of Rey Rivera, a Baltimore filmmaker who had no apparent reasons to end his life or being murdered. (

As a speaker, I shared my thoughts on historical and criminal evidence issues regarding Francis Tumblety. Bias and interpretation weaknesses are two mine fields many walk into thinking they can survive simply by ignoring them. Having a rather neutral point of view, I didn't dismiss Tumblety even making it clear that what Michael Hawley has been doing for the past 10 years should inspire us in terms of methodological JTR approach. I wrote a paper for my presentation, which is available on my blog. (

Janis Wilson, Matt Leyshon and I then discussed many aspects when it comes to writing a JTR related fiction novel, research, original idea triggering our story, character building, historical reference adaptations, etc.

Charles Tumosa, a criminal justice forensic expert, examined how civilian conflicts with the police alter crime suppression and investigation. What came out was a serious race issue based on various statistical data sources. Participants commentated by pointing out survey measurement of perceptions focusing only on race might introduce a serious bias.

On day 2, Janis Wilson had us wonder if Sherlock Holmes could have found the Ripper based on an overlook of all the methods he used in the cases he was given. No, was her answer, although I mentioned that Holmes using a different approach in each case could have found an unusual way to handle the Ripper case had he been asked to take it. I'm waiting for Doyle's reincarnation, hoping he will respond.

Chris Jones presented us the facts behind the Florence and James Maybrick case. An open-minded presentation it was. Although simply offering us the raw data as well as the often contradictory evidence, Chris surely made us realize that the weakness of any conclusion against Florence and in favor of James is almost obvious.

Amy Branam Arminiento delighted us with the way Edgar Allan Poe wrote about murders in his fiction. Her master's degree on literature and Killers as well as her PhD on Egdar Allen Poe allowed her to deliver a 'wow' feeling on how Poe mastered the art of horror thrilling.

If you hadn't ever heard of Deeming, you would have enjoyed Christopher George's presentation of this horrible person. His modus operandi, signature, victim targets and staging are nothing else than a typical 'Res ipsa loquitur' case which can only result in dismissing him as a JTR suspect.

Sadly, I missed Davis Sterrit's 'Red Ridding, the Yorshire Ripper on film' presentation.

Of course, there wouldn't be a Ripper conference without the introduction of a new suspect. Casey Smith covered this intriguing man named William Joseph Ibbeit. Even if you don't believe in character evidence, Casey offered us many elements on who Ibbeit was, how he behaved, what he wrote and compare it with what we know of many other suspects, one can only say "This guy is more than sick. I wouldn't trust him even if I had known him for years". Casey has recently begun his research and I, among many other participants, think he should keep investigating although a long and bumpy road will certainly be ahead of him.

To conclude, this was an exceptional event for me, having had the chance to spend much more time with all the speakers and participants than I had in Liverpool. Spending hours with Christopher George, a living legend, IMHO, as well as with Joe Chetcuti, Chris Jones and Jackie Murphy, building friendships with many such as the author Matt Leyshon. What can I say? The words are simple and come from the bottom of my hearth, "Thank you, all of you."

For more details about the speakers:

Last edited by Hercule Poirot : 04-10-2018 at 08:08 PM. Reason: page seeting
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