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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Kosminski, Aaron

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  #1  
Old 07-19-2016, 03:59 PM
Errata Errata is offline
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Default Quick Kosminski question (say that 5 times fast)

So we know that Aaron Kosminski was displaying severe behavioral anomalies roughly in the time frame of the murders. And I assume that there is no current theory being seriously entertained that he was faking these anomalies in order to further some master plan.

So if Kosminski were ill at the time of the murders, it could potentially give him a motive. If he were well, it would potentially give him the ability to carry out the murders. Now it's rarely so black and white, but it does prompt a question.

Is the current thinking that Kosminski was actively sick when he killed these women, or is the theory that he was not currently sick when he killed these women?

Because I imagine it changes what you look for in terms of what witnesses saw, what behaviors you expect, his ability to not get caught, etc.

I could argue for or against either way, but then I'm not a Kosminski person, and I would imagine those that are have more information than I do.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:23 PM
Scott Nelson Scott Nelson is offline
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Consider whether Aaron is the Kosminski suspect referred to by Macnaghten, Swanson and by extension, Anderson (maybe Sagar and Cox, as well).

If he was the one, he was probably coherent during 1888, and possibly until late 1889. A big plus to those who consider somebody like a psychopath who was in control of his senses to the extent that he could pull off street murders without much noise. But he could have been in the early stages of mental degeneration (like epilepsy, or some form of mental psychosis).

My personal feeling is that Macnaghten probably had it right when he said that the murderer's brain gave way altogether after the awful glut in Miller's Court. No, I don't think Aaron Kosminski was faking mental illness. But some other suspect (be he a Kosminski, or otherwise), possibly.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:56 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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How many serial killers end up in mental institutions? Very rare I Beleive.
So I doubt the ripper did.

Kosminsky may have been sick in fall 1888, but having not "attempted work in years" probably hadn't the wherewithal or the appearance/behavior to attract a prostitute, let alone to have them bring him to a secluded place for sex.
Mary Kelly taking him back to her place? No way.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:42 PM
Damaso Marte Damaso Marte is offline
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Kosminski was still able to function in human society in 1889 during his court appearance. Assuming his decline was linear, I think we can say he was at least as presentable as any underemployed Whitechapel resident in 1988.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:02 AM
Elamarna Elamarna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damaso Marte View Post
Kosminski was still able to function in human society in 1889 during his court appearance. Assuming his decline was linear, I think we can say he was at least as presentable as any underemployed Whitechapel resident in 1988.
Hi

Agree 100%

One of the problems here are the often repeated statements such as he was showing signs of illness in 1888.

There is no evidence to back this up at all, in the sources. Indeed the lack of information is very restrictive in looking at AK

The comments about not working for years, are made several years after the C5 and should not be taken to say he was not working in 1888.

And again the comments about eating out of the gutter are a description from 1991, and cannot be realistically be applied to his behaviour or demeanour in 1888

None of the above however addresses the possibility that any illness he may have had could had be sporadic with periods of apparent normal behaviour.

Indeed his attendance and behaviour in court in late 89 do not indicate an individual who was obviously unwell.

And as Scott has pointed out there is indeed the possibility that AK is not the Kosminski


Regards


steve
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:22 AM
Robert Robert is offline
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I think we can say he was at least as presentable as any underemployed Whitechapel resident in 1988.

And again the comments about eating out of the gutter are a description from 1991

Sounds like a remarkably tough old boy.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:56 AM
Paddy Paddy is offline
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Having worked for many years in this field I know from experience that you can have a young man that has been protected all his youth when family could have known he was not qute thinking right. Not given the correct help when young can lead to problems in maturity. Mental health ie depression or mania can start to present when this person has to take on responsibility. Sometimes it can get worse under pressure. I have seen such rages that seem to present as fits. Its quite possible that Alcohol could have triggered rages in him.

The fact that Woolfe accompanied Aaron to court in 1889 shows slight weakness as he had to talk for Aaron. Also when his cousin Jacob Cohen accompanied him to Colney Hatch and said he was eating from the gutters I wondered if this was because Aaron was now not living with them and was going round Spitalfield Market picking up fruit left behind at the end of trading. I bet millions did and I feel this was quite a subjective statement, as Jacob appeared to have a very comfortable life. The family seemed quite successful so this could have been even more pressure on him.

People can be very charming and still be very ill and very manipulative its not black and white when there is a long term underlying mental or cognative problem. He would have got worse if the family could not cope and he had to go and live alone, also undermined if they still provided financially.

So yes I think he could easily have been Jack but there were others like him also.

Pat........
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:59 AM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert View Post
I think we can say he was at least as presentable as any underemployed Whitechapel resident in 1988.

And again the comments about eating out of the gutter are a description from 1991

Sounds like a remarkably tough old boy.
Rumors that he died in lock-up were obviously false.
It looks like he outlived the asylum....
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:14 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elamarna View Post
Hi

Agree 100%

One of the problems here are the often repeated statements such as he was showing signs of illness in 1888.

There is no evidence to back this up at all, in the sources. Indeed the lack of information is very restrictive in looking at AK

The comments about not working for years, are made several years after the C5 and should not be taken to say he was not working in 1888.

And again the comments about eating out of the gutter are a description from 1991, and cannot be realistically be applied to his behaviour or demeanour in 1888

None of the above however addresses the possibility that any illness he may have had could had be sporadic with periods of apparent normal behaviour.

Indeed his attendance and behaviour in court in late 89 do not indicate an individual who was obviously unwell.

And as Scott has pointed out there is indeed the possibility that AK is not the Kosminski


Regards


steve
Well put Steve. Although he may be the "Kosminski" on Macnaughten's memorandum we can't be sure. But even if we were the most recent discussion of that memorandum made it clear that Druitt was the one Macnaughten felt was the real Ripper, and when he mentioned the killer's mind gave way after the Kelly murder, Macnaughten is laying the groundwork to connect the collapse of the killer's mind more with Druitt's suicide in the Thames than with Kosminski or Osrog's mental instabilities.

Jeff
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:05 AM
Errata Errata is offline
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I bring it up because I think that Kosminski specifically (as opposed to a generic mentally ill subject) displayed behaviors that would really make it difficult to get away with murder. Eating out of gutters etc. is really sort of unusual enough to be both noticeable and a very good clue that something is desperately wrong. Fairly benign as far as unusual behaviors go, but still something people would see and back away from. So his bad days had the potential to be very obviously bad days. If he is killing on his worst days, that requires a whole bunch of conditions to be met for him to get away with it, where if he is killing on one of his better days those obstacles aren't in play.

And Paddy is right. It is not as clear cut as I'm making it seem. Not just because of coping mechanisms and general inabilities, but also because delusion is not light a light switch. It's more like a dimmer. And we know Kosminski was capable of delusion, and on a scale of 1-5 it definitely got to a five at least once. But he could have been at a like a two, where the delusion is taking up about as much brain space as a song thats stuck in your head. Noticeable, but you can function around it. Then you have to guess how influential that delusion is and it gets messy, but generally doable. And it's neater for the purposes of simple discussion to break it down into ok and having a noticeable problem. Which has nothing to do with Kosminski's actual state of mental health, just his presentation.
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