Originally Posted by etenguy
My reading of the evidence is that it is insufficient to conclude a bayonet was used in the stabbing of Martha Tabram.
The soldier as murderer conclusion, while possible, is also uncertain. The only evidence is that one (might I suggest unreliable) witness states Martha was with a soldier much earlier that night and a policeman who challenged a soldier close to the murder scene was told he was waiting for a chum who had gone with a girl. This soldier was early to mid 20s. Describing Martha Tabram as a girl might have been a stretch.
Whether Martha had been drinking with Pearly poll and soldiers earlier or not, and whether Martha had entertained a soldier's friend during the evening, or not. There is no evidence either was the killer.
I am more convinced by Abby's argument that this was an early murder of the ripper, for the reasons she has provided. It would fit with the escalation and refinement of technique and MO as the ripper murders progressed.
You don't have to conclude it was a bayonet, you only have to follow Killeen's description of the weapon as a "dagger". Something, which in length and breadth, can be very similar to bayonets of the period.
The evidence suggests that she was killed with 2 weapons, one considerably smaller used in all but one wound. That doesn't suggest 1 man switching blades, that suggests a second person with a larger blade. The evidence of the soldiers is only relevant in that soldiers, and perhaps other men, were travelling in pairs that night. And the Bank Holiday allowed them to carry weapons that were dagger sized on their person.
Since only soldiers were allowed to carry those large bladed instruments openly on the street that night, and since we know soldiers were travelling in pairs that night, due to the soldier waiting for a mate, and since we have murder evidence that suggests 2 men and 1 larger sized blade, then its not too hard to connect the dots. For some.