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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Non-Canonical Victims > Martha Tabram

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  #301  
Old 10-28-2014, 10:27 AM
John G John G is online now
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Hi Michael,

First of all let me attempt to dispense with any notion that Tabram was killed by a soldier. This theory is supposedly supported by three pieces of evidence: Connelly's statement, the testimony of Dr Killeen that one of the injuries may have been caused by a bayonet, and PC Barrett's evidence concerning the loitering soldier.

In respect of Connelly I have already explained in detail why her evidence should be thrown in the waste paper basket, i.e because of her highly erratic behavior, the fact that she misidentified two innocent men, and that her last alleged sighting was about 3 hours before she was killed. I could also add that Tabram was seen in a pub by her sister in law, Ann Morris, who made no mention of Connelly or any soldiers.

Next, the bayonet. Dr Killeen contended that a bayonet may have been used, but he also said that it could have been another long-bladed weapon, such as a dagger. In any event, I believe bayonets were easily obtainable in Whitechapel at the time so even a bayonet doesn't necessarily implicate a soldier.

Regarding PC Barret, his evidence isn't completely immune to challenge either, especially as he also misidentified two innocent men. In any event, the soldier that he spoke to seemed calm and freely acknowledged that his friend was with a girl-not a likely scenario if he realized his friend had just committed a violent murder.

However, I think that we can totally eliminate a soldier as a suspect for the simple reason that his uniform would be covered in blood. I mean, how does he explain that when he returns to barracks? He can hardly say he had cut himself shaving! Maybe he burnt his uniform and returned to the barracks naked, saying he'd been mugged and his uniform stolen! Anyway, as soon as the police commenced their numerous ID parades it would surely have been noted that a soldier returned to barracks on the night of Tabram's murder with either a uniform covered in blood or no uniform at all.

And the notion of men going around posing as soldiers stretches credulity to breaking point and there is not a shred of evidence for this. As does your argument that a second soldier administered the coup de gras to finish Tabram off. Martha Tabram was a human being, not a wild animal to be put out of her misery to prevent further suffering. Anyway, anyone administering such a blow would surely be just as guilty of murder under the joint enterprise rule: see R v Bentley. And that would have meant a hanging offence, not a medal for ending the victim's suffering.

I'm also a little confused by your "fully formed killer" argument. If this was the case then surely there must have been other victims prior to Nichols, which you seem to reject.

You also suggest that the killer had a clear objective, i.e to mutilate, which apparently derives from earlier fantasies. Now Perhaps the best example of this type of killer is Patrick Kearney, who started to have thoughts about killing from the age of 8 and developed detailed murder fantasies at 13, at which age he also enjoyed rolling around in the blood and guts of slaughtered animals.

Not surprisingly he had a pretty consistent MO for a period:Shooting his victims in the head, sexually assaulting them after death, then dismembering their bodies. However, his first three victims were not dismembered and his last 8 victims were not sexually assaulted, and not all were dismembered. This seems extraordinary when you consider that necrophilia was clearly a central part of his fantasies, being evident in a number of his earlier murders.

Arthur Shawcross is another serial killer who targeted and mutilated prostitutes after death. However, his earlier victims were not mutilated and his first two victims were young children. Interestingly, a retired detective argued that the investigating detectives relied too much on minor differences in MO with each victim, resulting in a search for multiple suspects. I think I'm beginning to get a strong sense of deja vu!

Surely this is decisive evidence that serial killers are not machines and can be very unpredictable. I could point out that MJK also seemed, like Tabram, to be the victim of a more frenzied assault further highlighting JtR's unpredictability. Although, as noted in earlier posts the highly unusual characteristic of picquerism is a constant theme in all of the C5, except Stride, plus Smith and Tabram

You also point out that the killer had the ability to kill quickly and effectively; surely this is indicative of a killer learning from his mistakes, i.e. Tabram. In fact, perhaps the most efficient murder was Stride, where there was very little blood on the victim, her clothing or surrounding area. Of course, like Nichols and Chapman her killer used the effective strategy of cutting the victim's throat whilst she was near to the ground and probably applying strangulation to further stem the flow of blood: not the mark of an inexperienced killer and also demonstrating a clear link in MO with the two earlier victims.

Finally, in your last paragraph you seem to recognize a possible link between Eddowes, Mckenzie and Nichols. However, you then seem to reject the notion because of witness testimony. I'm not sure where your going with this argument but suffice to say that no witness is to be completely relied upon. I mean, as noted even PC Barrett misidentified 2 innocent men as did, in all probability, the police's prime witness Joseph Lawende. That's to say nothing of Hutchinson, Packer, Maxwell, Connelly...

Cheers,

John

Last edited by John G : 10-28-2014 at 10:36 AM.
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  #302  
Old 10-28-2014, 11:45 AM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Im sure Tom, and I know you also believe you've Exonerated Kidney, but real evidence is what Im talking about. Nichols was killed by a double cut to the throat, the "stabbing" had nothing to do with her demise.

Cheers
You're correct, I didn't exonerate Michael Kidney. The police had already done that in 1888. But due to modern shoddy scholarship I had to do it again a few years ago. As for Nichols, have you not considered that she was stabbed in the throat?

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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  #303  
Old 10-28-2014, 11:50 AM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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[quote-Michael W Richards] Let me ask you John, have you read about a constable questioning a soldier loitering near George Yard? Waiting for a friend?[/quote]

Because of the mistaken testimony of Jane Gillibank and her daughter, and the outright lies told by Pearly Poll, solders naturally were early suspects. PC Barrett who was on duty near George Yard was asked specifically about soldiers and there was only one man who came to mind, that being a soldier standing outside the yard (not outside the murder building) who apparently made no attempt to hide himself and spoke openly with Barrett when questioned. I would wager that he was standing near a pub. He stated quite freely that he was waiting for a friend who had gone with a woman. That's a rather frank admission if this soldier was at all planning something nefarious. Tabram would have been quite alive at this time and there's no reason to suppose this soldier or his friend had anything to do with the murder.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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  #304  
Old 10-28-2014, 12:09 PM
Michael W Richards Michael W Richards is offline
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[quote-Michael W Richards] Let me ask you John, have you read about a constable questioning a soldier loitering near George Yard? Waiting for a friend?
Because of the mistaken testimony of Jane Gillibank and her daughter, and the outright lies told by Pearly Poll, solders naturally were early suspects. PC Barrett who was on duty near George Yard was asked specifically about soldiers and there was only one man who came to mind, that being a soldier standing outside the yard (not outside the murder building) who apparently made no attempt to hide himself and spoke openly with Barrett when questioned. I would wager that he was standing near a pub. He stated quite freely that he was waiting for a friend who had gone with a woman. That's a rather frank admission if this soldier was at all planning something nefarious. Tabram would have been quite alive at this time and there's no reason to suppose this soldier or his friend had anything to do with the murder.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott[/quote]

Im not sure why you would assume the soldier would say anything but the truth to the PC, I don't imagine that there was any conspiracy to kill anyone.. even if it was 2 men that were involved. In fact the first man could have been killing Martha while the second spoke with the PC for all we know.

The facts are that the PC, by interviewing the soldier, confirms what Ive suggested, that soldiers were out with their mates that night. And we know that on Bank Holidays, (Im sure you know this well), soldiers were allowed to wear bayonets and short swords out on the street.

I agree, Polls testimony is odd as is her behaviour, but for me that doesn't constitute a position that everything she said was a lie.

Cheers
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  #305  
Old 10-28-2014, 12:20 PM
Michael W Richards Michael W Richards is offline
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Hi Michael,

However, I think that we can totally eliminate a soldier as a suspect for the simple reason that his uniform would be covered in blood. I mean, how does he explain that when he returns to barracks? He can hardly say he had cut himself shaving! Maybe he burnt his uniform and returned to the barracks naked, saying he'd been mugged and his uniform stolen! Anyway, as soon as the police commenced their numerous ID parades it would surely have been noted that a soldier returned to barracks on the night of Tabram's murder with either a uniform covered in blood or no uniform at all.


John
John,

There is no requirement for the man to have been in uniform...the man with the pen knife that is. Its likely why he used a pen knife...because he didn't have anything more lethal on him at that time. Someone did though.

You can dismiss any witness you like John, you can discount any evidence that suggests a scenario like I posed, and you can use all the serial killer anecdotes that you want to. There are no rules that all must follow when attempting to piece together the truth. I only suggest that we do not discard evidence that suggests Martha was entertaining soldiers at some point that evening, that it was a pair of soldiers, that a PC interviewed a soldier waiting for his chum on that very night in the area, and that a bayonet was indeed mentioned by the same man who examined all the wounds, including the single large one.

All this adds up to a circumstantial premise, and when the facts of the attack are added in...like 39 stab wounds, it seems clear that the attack was angry and the killer was not in complete control of his emotions.

Contrast that with the almost clinical dispatch of Annie Chapman, the method used to kill her, and what the killer showed us based on the injuries inflicted upon her.

Martha was killed horribly, no argument. But it would appear that she wasn't killed by someone who cuts throats twice to kill immediately, nor by someone who had interests in opening up the cadaver, or by someone who used only a single weapon when he killed.

Cheers
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  #306  
Old 10-28-2014, 12:33 PM
Tom_Wescott Tom_Wescott is offline
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Michael,

There's no question that soldiers were out that night. Why wouldn't they be? My point is simply that the whole reason soldiers were initially suspected to almost the exclusion of everyone else is because of a mistake (Gilibanks) and a lie (Pearly Poll). Soldiers were also looked at (according to Dew) following Emma Smith's murder.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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  #307  
Old 10-29-2014, 11:30 AM
Harry D Harry D is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael W Richards View Post
Contrast that with the almost clinical dispatch of Annie Chapman, the method used to kill her, and what the killer showed us based on the injuries inflicted upon her.

Martha was killed horribly, no argument. But it would appear that she wasn't killed by someone who cuts throats twice to kill immediately, nor by someone who had interests in opening up the cadaver, or by someone who used only a single weapon when he killed.
inb4 'serial killers are not robots' and 'the Ripper was learning his craft'.
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  #308  
Old 10-29-2014, 11:52 AM
John G John G is online now
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Michael,

I must reiterate that the argument that Tabram was killed by a soldier, let alone two soldiers, is very weak. Firstly, we have the evidence of Connelly, which as I have strongly indicated in previous posts is so unreliable it should be disregarded. Even if you reject that argument then the fact that she claims that to have departed from Tabram several hours before the likely time she was killed means that her account is of little evidential value.

Secondly, the bayonet. Dr Killeen only stated that a bayonet might have inflicted one of the wounds. In any event, this does not necessarily imply a soldier as bayonets were relatively easy to obtain. It has also been persuasively argued that Dr Killeen may even have been mistaken in his belief that two weapons were used: see, for example, Marriott (2005). This clearly accords with common sense: otherwise we have to postulate that her killer stabbed her 38 times with a pen knife before the sudden realization that he had a larger knife on his person, more suitable to the purpose. Or, alternatively, that a second killer came along and administered the coup de grace, which I consider a ludicrous proposition.

Thirdly, PC Barretts' evidence. It must be remembered that he only saw one soldier, not two, and whatever he was doing he wasn't killing Tabram. He did mention he was waiting for a mate, but he needn't have been a soldier and there is zero evidence that the friend was in the process of murdering Tabram either. And, as I have already pointed out, a soldier is a most unlikely assailant as his uniform would have been covered in blood-something he would have difficulty explaining when he returned to barracks and which would surely be remembered once the police started their intensive investigations. And any argument that the soldier wasn't wearing a uniform is ultimately self defeating, for then there is no evidence that he was a soldier at all.

However, your main argument against Tabram being a JtR victim seems to be the lack of connection with the C5 killings. Now I have already given examples of how serial killers are not predictable and consistent in their MO, and this is true even of killer's who have well developed fantasies. i.e. Patrick Kearney. And, if you cannot cite precedent in support of your contrary argument then that argument must be regraded as subjective, unscientific and, ultimately, fatally flawed. You also argue that the killer's ultimate intention in all of the murders was to mutilate, but that is simply speculation: Nichols may simply of represented an escalation in violence as his fantasy developed, with picquerism remaining the constant factor: see Keppel et al. (2005)

Nonetheless, there is considerable empirical evidence to link Tabram's murder to the subsequent Whitechapel killings. I have already mentioned picquerism to that I will add overkill. As you noted, Tabram was stabbed numerous times but all, or virtually all, of these wounds were inflicted by a small knife which, to put it crudely, may have been unfit for purpose, i.e the killer may have had to inflict numerous wounds because of the limitations and inadequacy of the weapon. However, I will agree that the shear number of wounds strongly indicates overkill.

Regarding Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly, they all had their necks savagely mutilated- Kelly was nearly decapitated. Even Stride's throat was severely cut, and that wound was most likely inflicted with a small knife. Again overkill is clearly demonstrated, just as with Tabram.

Another linking factor is the posing of the bodies. In the case of Tabram, for example, her clothing was turned right up to reveal the lower part of her body: in fact, that gave PC Barrett the impression that intercourse had taken place, a view rejected by Dr Killeen : Evans and Rumbelow (2006). And leaving the body exposed demonstrates not only that the killer considered her disposable but adds maximum shock value as well: Keppel et al. (2005)

It is submitted that even if we just consider the posing of the body, then such an act is not compatible with the mindset of a one-off killer who had temporarily lost control of himself and was regretful about what he'd done. Nor a friend of the killer, whose role was largely incidental No, it is the calculated act of a serial killer or that of a fledgling serial killer.

Cheers,

John

Last edited by John G : 10-29-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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  #309  
Old 11-03-2014, 12:28 PM
Richard Dewar Richard Dewar is offline
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I really cannot understand why some people seem to be wedded to the idea that serial killers do not evolve but retain a consistent, predictable MO throughout.

Let us consider, for example, the Nichols and Chapman murder, where the overwhelming consensus is that just one killer was involved. In the case of Chapman the mutilations suggested a significant degree of surgical skill, or at least anatomical knowledge. The Report concludes: "obviously the work of an expert...or one who had such knowledge of anatomical or pathological examinations as to be enabled to secure the pelvic organ with one sweep of the knife." In contrast, Nichols' killer seemed to demonstrate only rough anatomical knowledge.

And Chapman's body was clearly posed, with the extensive injuries to the abdomen obviously displayed. In contrast, Nichols' killer made a determined effort to cover up the abdominal injuries- so much so that weren't initially notice by Dr Llewellyn, so now we also, apparently, have a change in signature characteristics.

The killer also removed body parts from Chapman, which he took, like trophies, from the crime scene. With Nichols, the killer did not remove any organs.

Neither can these differences be explained by time pressure. In fact at Hanbury Street, the killer seemed to be under far greater time restraints, and was at far greater risk of getting caught, than Bucks Row.

So now, in the space of just 9 days the killer has, apparently, significantly upgraded his surgical skills, changed his signature and started harvesting and collecting organs! Is it therefore so hard to accept that over a period several months there wouldn't have been a significant evolution of MO between Tabram and Nichols?

in the case of Stride the killer was most likely interrupted but, apparently, Eddowes' suggests a further evolution in MO; in fact, some people now argue that this proves she must have been killed by someone else!

And with MJK he left a scene of utter carnage, in an apparently frenzied attack, leaving the highly respected Dr Bond to conclude that the killer "does not even posses the technical knowledge of a butcher or horse slaughterer."

Of course, to some, this is clear evidence that yet another killer must have been on the loose!

So there we have it. Are we to seriously accept that 6 killers were operating in Whitechapel during 1888- 7 if you count Emma Smith- a tiny district with a population of just 75,000? And all of them presenting with highly unusual signature characteristics and committing rare murders in an area where even more mundane killings were unusual, with just 2 murders being recorded for the Whitechapel District in the 4 years either side of 1888. In a country, England, where in both 1887 and 1889 only 11 adult female murders in total were by way of stab or cut throat.

Isn't it just far more likely to accept that serial killers evolve, frequently changing their MO, and behaving anything but predictably? Or perhaps you think it more likely that half a dozen or more killers- each demonstrating rare signatures-suddenly descended on Whitechapel in 1888 only, by the Strike of midnight on New Year's Eve, to decide to collectively give up serial killing and return to the day job!

Or perhaps by then they were all either caged in an asylum or drowned in the Thames!

Cheers,

John
Excellent post, John.

The problem with this case is that people tend to treat theories as fact.

The methodology of a serial killer can change. It can evolve, as you have suggested, or even be radically altered. That is why the victim debate will always be speculative.
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  #310  
Old 11-03-2014, 02:22 PM
Michael W Richards Michael W Richards is offline
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John,

You have constructed what seems to be a well thought out theory based on a singular premise, and frankly Im too lazy to point-by-point you in response, but I will say this......to assume that the only person in Whitechapel/Spitalfields during the Fall of 1888 that had a motive to kill was this Jack fellow is most certainly a narrow interpretation of the environments volatile nature at that time. There were many people, men and women, that lived in or outside that district who could kill, and given the Torsos appearing infrequently, could mutilate women as well.

Jack was one of many dangers on the street, and there were ample reasons that Fall for people with bad inclinations to be nervous.

You assumed that the killings were motiveless by assuming a series of at least 5, but I don't assume that we truly understand exactly why any of the women were killed, so how can we possibly deduce there is no motive at play here?

Do we know everything about these women? Likely not. Is what we know true? Based on our 125 year old inability to trace Mary Kelly by the story we have for her, likely not. Do we know the exact reasons for any of the Canonicals to be where they were on the night they meet their killer....well, we do have some evidence for 2 of them in that regard. Do we know all the relevant players in each of their lives? No. Can we state then that none of them knew each other or their killer as an empirical? No actually.

If you first assume a serial killer and then start to look for one, then you have drawn a conclusion before all the facts are in...and therefore your search is at best, invalid,.... and may be nothing but a waste of time.

Cheers
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