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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Lechmere/Cross, Charles

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  #861  
Old 12-19-2018, 09:17 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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To properly establish whether Charles Lechmere was a psychopath or not, we would need to have extensive records of how he interacted with other people.

We do not have that, and the inevitable result is that we will not be able to evaluate him from this particular angle.

The psychopathy part is nevertheless relevant to the discussion because there can be little or no doubt that the Rippar WAS a psychopath. It therefore follows that regardless of who we name a suspect, we must accept that this suspect will have been psychopath IF he was the killer.

Much was said before (and is strangely still said) about how the a killer who COULD run, WOULD run after a murder. It was in response to this rather limited insight into the complexity of human nature I originally pointed out that Lechmere may have stayed put IF he was a psychopath.

I have never said that it is a proven thing that Lechmere was a psychopath, I have said that reasoning that he was the killer predisposes that we accept that he must have been a psychopath if the reasoning is à pointe.

How this is reshaped to become a guarantee that Lechmere is not a viable suspect since we cannot prove that he was a psychopath is beyond me. It is an antiintellectual stance as far as I´m concerned.
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  #862  
Old 12-19-2018, 09:19 AM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Hi Fish. If I believed as you do, then I would abandon 'psychopathy' as an explanation for serial murder, or even a sub-explanation.

For if a person's only crime is to go out at night and hack up strangers, then I must conclude that he is not truly a psychopath, since he has no tendency or even desire to lie, cheat, and steal in other aspects of his life, despite those behaviors being the very definition of what constitutes a psychopath.

You'll need to find another explanation for your friend Rifkin.

So it seems to me that you are harkening back to the old 19th Century definiton of 'lustmord.' Perfectly nomal, healthy, happy, honest, decent, well-adjusted people who just happen to have this rare disease that makes them want to rip up people for sexual gratification.

Other than that, they could be model citizens.
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  #863  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:28 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Originally Posted by rjpalmer View Post
Hi Fish. If I believed as you do, then I would abandon 'psychopathy' as an explanation for serial murder, or even a sub-explanation.

For if a person's only crime is to go out at night and hack up strangers, then I must conclude that he is not truly a psychopath, since he has no tendency or even desire to lie, cheat, and steal in other aspects of his life, despite those behaviors being the very definition of what constitutes a psychopath.

You'll need to find another explanation for your friend Rifkin.

So it seems to me that you are harkening back to the old 19th Century definiton of 'lustmord.' Perfectly nomal, healthy, happy, honest, decent, well-adjusted people who just happen to have this rare disease that makes them want to rip up people for sexual gratification.

Other than that, they could be model citizens.
Joel Rifkin is not a friend of mine. He is, though, a confirmed psychopath.

The "very definition" of a psychopath involves a lot more than lying and cheating (and it does not comprise stealing at all). The most important factor is - and I believe most researchers agree with this - a disregard for other people. When it comes to serial killing psychopaths, this is evinced in how there is no empathy at all involved in their interactions with their victims.

You may have misunderstood me if you think I believe that psychopathy was the underlying reason for the Ripper murders - psychopathy is one thing and not per se coupled to whatever urges may drive a killer. One could perhaps say that what psychopathy does is to lower the resistance against breaking societal norms; a psychopath will have much less inhibitions when it comes to killing than non-sociopathic killers. When you are not troubled by any feelings of remorse or guilt, killing is much less of a problem.

I note that you think I am a very simplistic soul, "harkening back" to century old misconceptions. I´m afraid I must disappoint you on that score. I am quite aware of what psychopathy is and how it is mirrored in those affected by it. And "the very definition" of it has very little to do with stealing...
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  #864  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:30 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisherman View Post
I don´t know which picture Griffiths had of Lechmere. He would certainly know that more than 90 per cent of the serial killers are psychopaths, and so the logical guess is that Lechmere would have been of this ilk to, if he was the killer.

As I have stated before, psychopaths are not given to panic. They do not even have the same reflexes as normal people have. And on a general level, they enjoy playing games with people, conning them. They are, generally speaking, good liars.

You now reason that if he stayed put, he would have done so out of a fear of being caught, and the reasoning on your behalf goes like this:

Fisherman says that psychopaths are fearless.

Lechmere feared getting caught.

Therefore, he cannot have been a psychopath.

And you probably congratulate yourself on being very clever.

Here´s the problem: The only alternative to staying put is running.

And running is what you do on account of fearing to get caught.

So it seems that both alternatives become examples of fear in your able hands.

If there is no way to be fearless left to Lechmere at all, then maybe, just maybe, you need to rethink things, Caz.
Actually, I was asking you to remind me what Andy Griffiths's reasoning was, in my efforts to equate his position with your own. You even quoted me saying as much before you responded! Here we are:

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by caz View Post
Right, so remind me of Andy Griffiths's reasoning on this one, Fish. When he said he was 'adamant' that a serial killer in Lechmere's position would 'never' have run away [this assumes of course that Lechmere was indeed a serial killer, and not just an innocent witness who stayed to ask the next passer-by to assist], was this not because the killer would have feared the consequences of running and possibly being caught as a result? How would that fit with your ripper being a psychopath?
There was no reasoning on my behalf, because I find the whole 'stay or go' issue too confusing as it has been presented thus far, by yourself on your own behalf and that of Griffiths.

Perhaps I should have rephrased the above as a single, clearly understood question: was Griffiths 'adamant' that a serial killer, finding himself in Lechmere's position, would 'never' have run, because it would have been riskier for him to do so? Yes or no?

If the answer is no, what reason would Griffiths give for such killers always staying to bluff their way out of trouble?

If you don't know the answer, because as you say yourself: 'I don't know which picture Griffiths had of Lechmere', don't you think you should have found out, before attempting to speak for him?

Love,

Caz
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  #865  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:48 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caz View Post
Actually, I was asking you to remind me what Andy Griffiths's reasoning was, in my efforts to equate his position with your own. You even quoted me saying as much before you responded! Here we are:



There was no reasoning on my behalf, because I find the whole 'stay or go' issue too confusing as it has been presented thus far, by yourself on your own behalf and that of Griffiths.

Perhaps I should have rephrased the above as a single, clearly understood question: was Griffiths 'adamant' that a serial killer, finding himself in Lechmere's position, would 'never' have run, because it would have been riskier for him to do so? Yes or no?

If the answer is no, what reason would Griffiths give for such killers always staying to bluff their way out of trouble?

If you don't know the answer, because as you say yourself: 'I don't know which picture Griffiths had of Lechmere', don't you think you should have found out, before attempting to speak for him?

Love,

Caz
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No, I of course think that I am fit to speak for Griffiths without having any idea what he said and meant, Caz. Of course!

Any more questions?
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  #866  
Old 12-19-2018, 12:24 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Double post; deleted.

Last edited by rjpalmer : 12-19-2018 at 12:37 PM.
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  #867  
Old 12-19-2018, 12:32 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Originally Posted by Fisherman View Post
I note that you think I am a very simplistic soul..
Not in the least Fish; I appreciate the conversation, and find a good number of your comments thought provoking. I'm just trying to avoid the simplistic answers we are so often given by those who claim to be experts in 'serial killers.' In general, I am left unimpressed by their insights. None of them seem to be hitting the nail on the head, and most don't even graze the nail.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisherman View Post
One could perhaps say that what psychopathy does is to lower the resistance against breaking societal norms; a psychopath will have much less inhibitions when it comes to killing than non-sociopathic killers.
Fair enough, but why on earth would this same brain chemistry not also apply to stealing? Do you see the problem you are creating? People want objects and money. If they have this 'lower resistance to societal norms,' what would stop them from stealing in order to achieve it? Are you suggesting Kurten, Petiot, Bundy, Heath, Sutcliffe, etc etc didn't steal? I beg to differ. Even Chikatilo is known to have taken a roll of carpeting from a job site and then attempted to sell it on the black market.

Yet, as you note, there also seems to be killers of this sort who aren't known to have been thieves.

Aren't you interested in knowing why? Isn't it a little strange?

I'm not really trying to give you any grief, Fish. You make some valid points and I consider them. I'm just interesting in exploring what is really at the heart of these terrible crimes and why people are committing them, and it seems rather obvious to me that psychologist aren't all that good in giving a decent explanation.. As ome of your own examples demonstrate, the answer is elusive and mysterious. And if we don't understand why crimes of this sort are happening, then we can hardly correctly identify who among the known suspects is 'likely' and who is not. Yet, that is precisely what 'Ripperologists' attempt to do all the time.

It's like Hit Parade. "I give Monty Druitt a 6, but you can't really dance to it."

I'd like to have something a little more concrete. Enjoy your battle with Caz. RP
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  #868  
Old 12-19-2018, 01:16 PM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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rjpalmer: Not in the least Fish; I appreciate the conversation, and find a good number of your comments thought provoking. I'm just trying to avoid the simplistic answers we are so often given by those who claim to be experts in 'serial killers.' In general, I am left unimpressed by their insights. None of them seem to be hitting the nail on the head, and most don't even graze the nail.

I can´t remember having stated that I am an expert in serial killers. Nor can I remember having given simplistic answers to the deeds - but I DO remember having had it claimed.
I have a scenario in mind that is anything but simplistic, that involves parallels to a couple of other serial killers who were not that far off the mark from the Ripper murders meaning that I identify common traits between these killers, and I have a suggestion that there was an element of ritualistic thinking involved. I have in no way implied that psychopathy was the factor behind the murders - I think there was an inspiration ground that had nothing to do with psychopathy other than possibly embedded in the killer thinking to himself "I want to do that to people".
Have some faith. One of us being a cynic is enough.


Fair enough, but why on earth would this same brain chemistry not also apply to stealing?

It is not a question of psychopaths not stealing, it is a question of stealing not being a prominent factor in psychopathy. The psychopathy in stealing would lie in how the thief thinks himself entitled to steal and superior to the ones he steals from.

Do you see the problem you are creating?

No, I actually don´t. Nor do I believe that I am creating any problem at all.

People want objects and money. If they have this 'lower resistance to societal norms,' what would stop them from stealing in order to achieve it? Are you suggesting Kurten, Petiot, Bundy, Heath, Sutcliffe, etc etc didn't steal? I beg to differ. Even Chikatilo is known to have taken a roll of carpeting from a job site and then attempted to sell it on the black market.

How many thieves are established as psychopaths, though? How many essays have been written on the correlation between theft and psychopathy? And why is it that there are no such works?
All people who steal surpass societal norms. Does that make them psychopaths? No. Psychopathy - once again - is not primarily defined by a wish to take thing from others. It is de facto not even one of the points listed as common denominators for psychopaths.
A theft can nevertheless be linked to a perpetrators psychopathy. But it is not a marker of the condition as such.
I think that many of the things psychopaths do are led on by how the psychopath thinks "because I can do it and get away with it". They can engage in fraudulent behavior, in rape, in reckless driving, in just about anything. But that does only go to show the overall feeling of being in charge and allowing for anything within the psychopath, and it is NOT telling us that rape, frauds or reckless driving are typical marker for psychopathy. The same goes for theft.

Yet, as you note, there also seems to be killers of this sort who aren't known to have been thieves.

Of course there is!

Aren't you interested in knowing why? Isn't it a little strange?

What makes you think I am NOT interested in it?
Just like you and me have been moulded by our experiences, so will the psychopath be. And that will to some extent govern what he or she will evolve into - a military hero, a company leader, a tough policeman or a serial killer. Much, if not anything, goes, and the common denominator is that the psychopaths must find a role that allows them to give their personalities free play.

I'm not really trying to give you any grief, Fish. You make some valid points and I consider them. I'm just interesting in exploring what is really at the heart of these terrible crimes and why people are committing them, and it seems rather obvious to me that psychologist aren't all that good in giving a decent explanation.. As ome of your own examples demonstrate, the answer is elusive and mysterious. And if we don't understand why crimes of this sort are happening, then we can hardly correctly identify who among the known suspects is 'likely' and who is not. Yet, that is precisely what 'Ripperologists' attempt to do all the time.

You are not giving me any grief at all, let me assure you. I am not unsecure and uncertain enough for that. I have always done my background work meticulously, and the Ripper case is no exception to that rule. I am anything but simplistic, and if you believe otherwise, you are simply misinformed.
I don´t think that what happened in the East End of 1888 was something that had simple origins, although most serial killing cases DO have a simple background in many ways. I don´t think that you have any insight into what I identify as the underlying reasons for the Whitechapel murders, since I have never mentioned in any great detail. Correct me if I´m wrong, please! I am amazed if you find that you know me and my thinking well enough to decide that I am in any way less well cut out than yourself to understand the Ripper errand. And much as I agree with you that there is too much simplistic thinking around, I also think that there are too many primadonnas in Ripperology.
I have not ever considered you one, but I am an intellectually flexible person, believe it or not...

Last edited by Fisherman : 12-19-2018 at 01:19 PM.
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  #869  
Old 12-20-2018, 02:09 AM
Jon Guy Jon Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisherman View Post
To properly establish whether Charles Lechmere was a psychopath or not, we would need to have extensive records of how he interacted with other people.

We do not have that, and the inevitable result is that we will not be able to evaluate him from this particular angle.

The psychopathy part is nevertheless relevant to the discussion because there can be little or no doubt that the Rippar WAS a psychopath. It therefore follows that regardless of who we name a suspect, we must accept that this suspect will have been psychopath IF he was the killer.

Much was said before (and is strangely still said) about how the a killer who COULD run, WOULD run after a murder. It was in response to this rather limited insight into the complexity of human nature I originally pointed out that Lechmere may have stayed put IF he was a psychopath.

I have never said that it is a proven thing that Lechmere was a psychopath, I have said that reasoning that he was the killer predisposes that we accept that he must have been a psychopath if the reasoning is à pointe.

How this is reshaped to become a guarantee that Lechmere is not a viable suspect since we cannot prove that he was a psychopath is beyond me. It is an antiintellectual stance as far as I´m concerned.
Hi Christer

The one fact we have is that he tried to assist someone he found lying on the pavement.

Also,the Ripper may have been a paranoid schizophrenic, and not a psychopath.
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  #870  
Old 12-20-2018, 02:32 AM
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caz caz is offline
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I must have missed the discovery of CAL’s ‘exemplary’ work record. I thought that all we knew was that, according to him, he had worked for them for 20-odd years. Oh, and that he possibly killed a child while driving one of his employers’ vans.
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Originally Posted by MrBarnett View Post
Pickfords’ drivers were notorious for their recklessness. They were frequently involved in accidents and the company were criticised for allowing/encouraging them to disregard the safety of other road users in the pursuit of speed.
Objection, your honour!

On several counts:

1) We can't have it both ways, Gary. If he did kill that child, he was known as Charles Cross in 1876, so the name anomaly vanishes and his work record as a carman for Pickfords would appear to stretch back at least twelve years.

2) If it was another Charles Cross, there is nothing to suggest that Lechmere, as an individual employee, was 'notorious' for driving recklessly, or had ever done so.

3) If Lechmere lied in 1888 about his work history and his real name, and wasn't working as a carman for Pickfords in 1876, he didn't kill the child and again, the reckless driving allegation has no substance.

4) The verdict in any case was accidental death, not death by dangerous or reckless driving, so there is no evidence that anyone called Charles Cross drove recklessly, either on that occasion or routinely.

5) Even if one could question the verdict, and show it was Lechmere driving recklessly in 1876 [while known as Cross], he would only be representative of all those Pickfords' drivers who were notorious for it, unless they were also notorious for a string of other psychopathic traits!

Love,

Caz
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