Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan
Dr Bond, from Kelly's autopsy again;
"The skin cuts in the front of the neck showed distinct ecchymosis."
I'm not medically proficient enough to know if this translates into signs of strangulation (there don't seem to be any others), but due to the reports of "oh murder" and presence of possible defensive wounds, it seems she may have been conscious when attacked with a knife.
"The right thumb showed a small superficial incision about 1 in long, with extravasation of blood in the skin & there were several abrasions on the back of the hand moreover showing the same condition."
That's as far as I could ever take the evidence to support a case for strangulation. There's nothing definitive, but there are patterns consistent with other strangulation cases.
1. Obviously, strangulation (or, garroting) 'of persons unknown' was not "uncommon" for the London region. There is the historical record of The Great Garrote Scare 20 years prior, and assaults by garrote gangs were reported in the early 1890s. Garroters saw themselves in a professional manner and rendering a victim unconscious immediately was a point of great pride.
2. There is the direct and indirect presence of a potential strangulating device [ie. the kerchief] common to four of the cases.
3. An investigative technique employed when investigating garroting is searching for the presence of 'discs' under or near the body. Indian Thugees were known for using their head-wraps pinned by a medallion as strangulating devices. In the movies, the medallion is portrayed for its aesthetic form; however, the medallion would be used to crush the larynx during the immediate action of the strangulation. As garroting was adopted into London practice, other materials were used to serve this component's purpose, such as hard round discs wrapped in a piece of cloth. It was recommended to search near or under the body for such items. Most garrote victims tend to have been 'deposited' in the same place as their assault, and it is generally believed that the 'hard discs' would have fell onto the ground after the strangulation was completed but before the body was laid down. With regards to the Jack the Ripper murders, coins and buttons are found around some of the bodies.
4. In the early 1890s, a man was killed by a professional garrote gang in the alley off a London street. The man had taken up drinking with some other men and a woman at a bar. Upon leaving, he was forced into an alley by the gang members. One of the men forced the knot or clasp of the victim's tie into his larynx, crushing it in the process. The whole operation took less than 5 minutes. In his post mortem report, the doctor reported conditions similar to Elizabeth Stride's injuries ["...the left ventricle firmly contracted, and the right slightly so. There was no clot in the pulmonary artery, but the right ventricle was full of dark clot. The left was firmly contracted as to be absolutely empty] and Mary Jane Kelley ["...the front of the neck showed distinct ecchymosis"].
However... I am challenged by a certain practice that was also being reported at the times of the murder: that being, the practice of forcing a woman to lay on the ground while a knife was drawn across her throat.
* I was wrong earlier with regards to ecchymosis being reported on Eliz.