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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > General Suspect Discussion

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  #21  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:08 AM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
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Hi Richard

But if having a knife on you was as common as being able to use the excuse 'to shave' then surely the majority of men worldwide would carry one and thompson would be one of thosands.

Again it would stand even more to look for those who didn't - guilty conscience.....
People would normally use a razor to shave, and not a knife, but of course knives made for one particular purpose might be used for another. A cheese knife to slice cheese or a fish knife to descale a fish are examples. What sort of knife did Thompson claim to keep on his person to shave? It was a dissecting scalpel. A reminder of his days as a medical student. We know what they are designed to be used for. I have a feeling that people carrying knives made to cut into human flesh and remove human organs were a rarity, and in Spitalsfields, where Thompson lived, perhaps unique.
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  #22  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:19 AM
Jon Guy Jon Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Patterson View Post
Even 7 years later? The closest we can place him near to 1888 is a 1901 census listing him as living on the Isle of Wight.
Where was he living when he was arrested for attacking Alice Graham in Spitalfields?
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  #23  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:21 AM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is online now
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Originally Posted by Richard Patterson View Post
People would normally use a razor to shave, and not a knife, but of course knives made for one particular purpose might be used for another. A cheese knife to slice cheese or a fish knife to descale a fish are examples. What sort of knife did Thompson claim to keep on his person to shave? It was a dissecting scalpel. A reminder of his days as a medical student. We know what they are designed to be used for. I have a feeling that people carrying knives made to cut into human flesh and remove human organs were a rarity, and in Spitalsfields, where Thompson lived, perhaps unique.
There you go again. How does 'I have shaved with a dissecting scalpel before now' become keeping one 'on his person' while in Spitalfields? Is it inconceivable that he might have shaved himself that way while he was a medical student?
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  #24  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:25 AM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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expo facto reasoning
That should be ex post facto reasoning, of course. Anyway, if Cutbush could get a knife in 1891, couldn't he get one in 1888? And technically, you don't know when Kosminski threatened his sister with a knife. I think it is reasonable to assume that this was also in 1891, just prior to his trip to the infirmary, but that is merely reasonable speculation.
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  #25  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:35 AM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
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There you go again. How does 'I have shaved with a dissecting scalpel before now' become keeping one 'on his person' while in Spitalfields? Is it inconceivable that he might have shaved himself that way while he was a medical student?
Because he wrote 'before now' in February 1889. To suppose any other time gap from that date to way back in medical school is speculation without warrant. To suppose he shaved with one at medical school is speculation since I would be right in saying mist medical students do not shave with their dissecting scalpels. It would be more in keeping with a person who had no other means. More in keeping with Thompson the vagrant in London than Thompson the medical student, years earlier in Manchester.
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  #26  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:40 AM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
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Richard,


Again, you're misleading people. Thompson did not say he was in the East End when the Ripper murders took place. He wrote a description of events outside the Providence Row night shelter and from that you have inferred that he lived there in November, 1888.

Incidentally, John Walsh did not say it was 'likely' that Thompson had been interviewed as a Ripper suspect, he said it was 'not beyond possibility' that he had been. His reasoning for that was that Thompson was a drug addict, was acquainted with prostitutes and 'most alarming' had been a medical student. I find it odd that you reference this piece of idle musing by Walsh but ignore the fact that he says that Thompson searched for his Chelsea prostitute in the West End between August and September, 1888.
Thank you for correcting me on John Walsh. I wrote from memory, while you checked the facts. You set a fine example of what is the right thing to do.

If Thompson was searching for his prostitute in the West End why was he trying to sleep in Spitalsfield in the East End and sleeping in the Salvation Army men's shelter in Limehouse?

Thompson wrote that he tried to gain access to Providence Row in Spitalsfield and I have shown that the only plausible time was in November 1888. There is no reason to think he was not admitted.
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  #27  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:41 AM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
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Where was he living when he was arrested for attacking Alice Graham in Spitalfields?
No idea.
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  #28  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:46 AM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
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Originally Posted by rjpalmer View Post
That should be ex post facto reasoning, of course. Anyway, if Cutbush could get a knife in 1891, couldn't he get one in 1888? And technically, you don't know when Kosminski threatened his sister with a knife. I think it is reasonable to assume that this was also in 1891, just prior to his trip to the infirmary, but that is merely reasonable speculation.
Anyone could get a knife in 1888, you just had to be in 1888, but it can not be shown that Cutbush had a knife in 1888. It is reasonable to assume that Cutbush had a knife 3 years after the time of the Ripper murders, but since it was his sister he threatened, it is reasonable to assume that his threat occurred in a domestic situation, such as in the kitchen of their home where knives are kept. Which leads to the probably conclusion the knife was simply one he picked up on the occasion of the threat and was that is was not something he would carry.
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  #29  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:49 AM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is online now
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Originally Posted by Richard Patterson View Post
Because he wrote 'before now' in February 1889. To suppose any other time gap from that date to way back in medical school is speculation without warrant. To suppose he shaved with one at medical school is speculation since I would be right in saying mist medical students do not shave with their dissecting scalpels. It would be more in keeping with a person who had no other means. More in keeping with Thompson the vagrant in London than Thompson the medical student, years earlier in Manchester.
I'm not supposing anything - you are. As far as I'm concerned 'before now' could mean at any point between Thompson's medical school days and 1889. It is you who take that as evidence that he carried a knife in 1888, which is what I would call speculation without warrant.
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  #30  
Old 10-16-2017, 03:00 AM
Richard Patterson Richard Patterson is offline
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I'm not supposing anything - you are. As far as I'm concerned 'before now' could mean at any point between Thompson's medical school days and 1889. It is you who take that as evidence that he carried a knife in 1888, which is what I would call speculation without warrant.
I take Thompson literally because I do not think it safe to make assumption or interpretation on his use of the words 'before now'. I accept his words as meaning exactly what they suggest. As in prior to that time of writing them (February 1888). Thompson was a writer, poet, and an excellent student of English. I see no reason state otherwise, than he meant proceeding his request for a razor. To do so would risk being misleading and nobody wants to do that about something as important as finding the murderer of so many women. I would not want to lose sleep over worrying I had done the wrong thing and by not taking his words for their intent be surreptitiously defending a multiple murderer.
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