After reading the current issue of NIR, a few topics that are normally perceived as ancillary to many came to mind, but in reality are the essence in developing a well rounded understanding of the subject that we all share a mutual interest in.
Don's opening editorial, "Just the Facts Ma'am" set the stage for one of them - the dissemination of certain facts or evidence, and the different interpretations that often result from the same information. As Don pointed out, the articles written by Lynn and myself reach some conclusions that are at odds with each other. The beauty of such publications as New Independent Review and Ripperologist is that the writer has a venue to provide information and/or construct a thesis in a continuous and cohesive fashion that discussion boards sometimes don't allow. The readers have a chance to digest the writer's points completely; uninhibited by the reactions of others until the proper time. It is after this that the forums become a valuable tool in evaluating what has been presented and from a community perspective. With that in mind, I look forward to discussing some of these points with Lynn (and others who might be interested) in the near future.
Another matter that comes to mind is a recent debate about how one approaches this subject - as a cold case criminal investigation or as a historical event. The articles presented in this issue are good examples of how the historical perspective is essential. Since these events happened so long ago, any attempt at unraveling this mystery is futile without understanding the people and the elements involved. They are essential, even if they are not as enticing or provoking as 'out of the box' theories or the latest 'suspect.'
Historians and researchers are detectives, although their criteria for evaluating the information assembled may be more demanding for clarity and reasonable deduction than many writers who have ventured into this field - a field that has too often been strewn with misconceptions and theories presented as 'facts.'
Joe's article on the "Indictment' of Francis Tumblety exemplifies how researchers can pool their knowledge and concentrate their efforts into further research that results in even more information. The coalescence of the efforts of Stewart Evans, Simon Wood, Chris Scott and Sarah Minney has resulted in a fine article by Joe that answers many questions and sparks determination to answer more.
Don's article, "Dog-gone" about the bloodhounds Barnaby and Burgho is the most comprehensive piece ever written on the subject. It is beautifully compiled and adds much more. We learn about how bloodhounds actually track their prey, how Warren's role in this episode has been often maligned, and Don offers a valuable warning about the interpretation of press reports for anyone using such information as a reliable source. His ideas about what might have happened if the hounds had actually been used is something I've never seen anyone consider.
And all of this presented without speculating on who might have killed any of these women.
Can't wait for Rob and Neil's upcoming article in Rip now.
P.S. - If anyone is interested in Bagster Phillips, I have posted some previously unpublished information on this fascinating man on the link below:
If only more people would do research in such a manner
And if only more people who disagree as completely as you two on the interpretation of certain elements of the evidence could only do so in the gentlemanly manner in which the pair of you comport yourselves.
"To expose [the Senator] is rather like performing acts of charity among the deserving poor; it needs to be done and it makes one feel good, but it does nothing to end the problem."