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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Motive, Method and Madness

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  #1  
Old 11-02-2018, 01:46 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Default Practicality or madness?

Reading the discussion on another thread about Martha Tabram´s viability as a Ripper victim, I find that Gary (Mr Barnett) makes a distinction between what he senses is a wish to annihilate in Tabram´s case and what he perceives as killing as a means to an end - that of cutting open and eviscerating victims. I hope I got that right, Gary?

In this vein, I would like to turn our attention to the 1873 torso victim, who I believe is not only a Thames torso murder but also one committed by Jack the Ripper, who I think was the killer behind both series.

Back in 1873, there was speculation among the medicos that this victim, found in many parts dumped in the Thames, had been subjected to the gruesome fate of having her dismemberment carried out to a part when she was still alive.
This owes to the muscle contraction that was evident in the body. If a body is cut up in close connection the the time of death, the muscles alongside the cuts will contract themselves. This reflex is lost after a shortish time. meaning that there will be no contraction within bodies that have not been cut up in close connection to death.

The next fact that is of interest here is that it was discovered that there was not a drop of blood inside the body. This means that the victim was effectively drained of blood, and that would not come about by her bleeding out, lying on the ground with a cut throat, for example. In such a case, some of the blood would not exit the body, but instead stay in areas close to the ground and below the level of the cut throat.

So what we are looking at is a body that was hung up or otherwise arranged to bleed it off totally. For example, the victim could have been hung from her feet, with a cut to the throat, and the blood would all exit the body in a matter of minutes.

These minutes, however, must be crammed in before the dismemberment was carried out, and so we can see that we have rather a rushed affair going on here. The victim is killed, quite possibly by the two blows to the temple that were recorded, the body is then hung up and the blood vessels, quite possibly the ones in the neck, are opened up to bleed the body off. Once this is achieved, the body is taken down again and immediately dismembered.

The dismemberment is however not rushed or sloppy. It is instead a meticulous affair, where neat disarticulation of the limbs - but for the joints at the shoulders and hips that are sawed straight off - is accompanied by the very precise and timeconsuming cutting away of the face and scalp in one single piece, including even the eyelashes.

My conclusion is that this murder was always about the killers wish to procure a body to cut up. And he went about his business in as practical a manner as possible, getting rid of the messy blood before he set about cutting.

This is a killer with the exact same kind of aim as I identify in the Ripper cases - a killer who is after bodies to cut up and shape to his will, sometimes taking out organs and on other occasions settling for the cutting only.

He is not a sadist, he is not a robber, he is not about personal vengeance and he does not even have to dislike women. He is about deconstructing female bodies and reshaping them to his will. When he does this in seclusion and with time on his hands, he can work slowly and meticulously. When he takes his work to the streets, there is no time for that, and he has to work fast. And after the torso murders, he is faced with the necessity to get rid of the bodies, whereas in the Ripper murders, he is at liberty to leave the victims where they fall.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:08 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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To hang someone upside down in order to drain the blood prior to dismemberment, the killer would have to have had a safe place to do so, and room in which to operate. They would also need a means of collecting and disposing of a large quantity of blood without being detected. All this suggests someone with access to private premises, the right equipment, and some time on his hands.

If the 1873 murder was committed by a demon-driven serial killer why, given such facilities and his evident success in using them, did we not see more cases like this in 1873 and/or subsequently?
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:46 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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To hang someone upside down in order to drain the blood prior to dismemberment, the killer would have to have had a safe place to do so, and room in which to operate. They would also need a means of collecting and disposing of a large quantity of blood without being detected. All this suggests someone with access to private premises, the right equipment, and some time on his hands.

If the 1873 murder was committed by a demon-driven serial killer why, given such facilities and his evident success in using them, did we not see more cases like this in 1873 and/or subsequently?
What primarily interests me is what leads up to this murder; if we speculate that the Nichols murder was too explicit to be the first deed on behalf of the killer, then this one is even more explicit!

What we must keep in mind, however, is that there are many unknown factors. We have no possibility to check extensively for other deeds that may have a bearing on this one, and there is always the chance that the killer could have disposed of earlier victims in a manner that kept them from public knowledge. Gruesome deeds can be recorded as disappearances only.

I don´t know why you speak of a "demon-driven" killer? Apparently, all of the deeds we are discussing out here are ones that must be regarded as very severe cases, with inclusions that certainly may evoke thoughts about demons and devils. But why would we need to see more deeds like this one in 1873? Must a killer who kills like this kill a certain amount of victims annually? If so, why? Besides, the parts of the body only surfaced in September, so there was precious little left of that year - and there IS an 1874 victim that is coupled to the same originator.

We may also see that serialists sometimes put the lid on after their first murder/s, sometimes for quite an extensive period of time. Take Dahmer, for example - he first blew his top in 1978, but once he had killed that victim, he managed to stay away from murder for nine long years, before the dam finally broke and he embarked on his spree.

What we should not do is to try and offer a schedule to which we demand a killer must work. There are no such schedules, there are only individuals who will act individually.

What I am asking is how common this type of killer is; a man (most likely) who subdues and kills and who then moves on to the practical sides of his urges, empties out the blood and sets about cutting away at the body at hand immediately afterwards. I find it an extremely rare perpetrator, one that has the very fewest of parallels - if any - as far as I can see.

You are perfectly right about how the 1873 murder likely meant that the killer had secure premises where he could do his work. But we cannot by extension say that he would never take that work to the street, either by way of necessity or by way of a wish to do so. All we can say is that if it was the same killer throughout, then he was willing to kill and cut both in seclusion and out on the streets. Is that unexpected? Yes, but then again, many serial killer have done many an unsuspected thing. So what we must weigh up is the likelihood of a killer being able to kill in these two ways versus two killers existing in the same city and at the same time and doing many things that on the surface of things are the same. And both of them answer to the description of a man who has the aim of procuring a body to cut into and sometimes take out organs from. Plus we know that the Ripper did cit the throats of his victims very deeply, certainly with a bleeding-off effect.

One of these things MUST be wrong. We MUST accept one thing and reject the other. And we know full well that there are people who have killed both in seclusion and out on the streets, just as there are killers who have dismembered in some cases, and not in others. We also know that we have found no examples of serial killers and eviscerators who have roamed the same city in overlapping periods of time.

So we either go with the proven thing, or we go with the unproven one.

Last edited by Fisherman : 11-02-2018 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:47 AM
Batman Batman is offline
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A boat might make a good bolt hole for this sort of thing. You can also river dump and travel. A bit of a Dexter.

Any elevated position other than horizontal, (such as feet up) will speed up exsanguination. So an incline could work.

JtR with sailor appearance.

If JtR is the torso murderer, then I tend to think we are dealing with a true necrophiliac who keeps a corpse and replaces body parts by harvesting sexual parts from prostitutes. When the trunk is gone, he replaces it and dumps the old one. He would keep the heads.

Mary Shelly's descendants had body parts thrown into their garden.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:57 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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I don´t know why you speak of a "demon-driven" killer? Apparently, all of the deeds we are discussing out here are ones that must be regarded as very severe cases, with inclusions that certainly may evoke thoughts about demons and devils
It's a vernacular expression. One speaks of someone being "driven by their inner demons", meaning their compulsions, obsessions etc. Nothing supernatural intended!
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:59 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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A bit of a Dexter.
What's a Dexter?

(My turn to not understand a vernacular expression, Fish )
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:02 AM
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What's a Dexter?

(My turn to not understand a vernacular expression, Fish )
It is a TV series about a forensics expert who is a serial killer who hunts other serial killers. He dumps them from his boat in the ocean. That serial dumping is what I mean by a Dexter.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:04 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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We may also see that serialists sometimes put the lid on after their first murder/s, sometimes for quite an extensive period of time.
Quite - but, if the 1873 killer had access to private premises and facilities for draining and effectively dismembering a corpse, why didn't he continue in similar vein, even after a gap? Why bother coming out into the open, so to speak, when he could have carried on indulging his "demons" in total safety?
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:08 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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It is a TV series about a forensics expert who is a serial killer who hunts other serial killers.
Thanks - that explains why I didn't get the reference. Apart from University Challenge and rugby matches, I don't regularly watch TV at all.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:08 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman View Post
A boat might make a good bolt hole for this sort of thing. You can also river dump and travel. A bit of a Dexter.

Any elevated position other than horizontal, (such as feet up) will speed up exsanguination. So an incline could work.

JtR with sailor appearance.

If JtR is the torso murderer, then I tend to think we are dealing with a true necrophiliac who keeps a corpse and replaces body parts by harvesting sexual parts from prostitutes. When the trunk is gone, he replaces it and dumps the old one. He would keep the heads.

Mary Shelly's descendants had body parts thrown into their garden.
Would not the ordinary (well...) necrophiliac keep the body intact, though? This man very quickly sets about taking the body apart in small pieces.

A boat could be the secluded bolthole - but so could many other places. There is no need for the bolthole to be on the river, and we know that parts were dumped on shore. Why do that if they were dismembered on a boat? Why go ashore and dump if he could just throw the parts overboard?

If he did have access to a boat, then I´d say that the parts dumped on land would prove that there was some sort of intention behind this anomaly.
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