Errata, I can totally see you & I on a road trip, a mix between Fear & Loathing and Thelma & Louise, and probably a bit of Blair Witch thrown in for good measure. Thank you for that entertaining account. I'm glad you survived it!
Back to JtR though: can we surmise, based on all this, that if chloroform was used, given that some victims were discovered only minutes after the murder, we might expect to be found:
- redness/irritation around the mouth
- perhaps some aspirated vomit
- bruises indicating the killer had to grasp the victim tightly through initial struggles
And back to the original topic-question.. I doubt laudanum, for the time it would take to work. Unless the victims were slipped a mickey in a pub, or from a flask, and he waited for the woozies to kick in, perhaps while leading them to his desired locations.
Not out of the question, eh.