Didn't PC Thain, one of the unfortunate policemen who had to place Polly in the handcart er ambulance, speak of her back being absolutely saturated with blood, though? He believed the blood had flowed down from neck to waist, so much so that his hands were mired in the stuff. She wore an ulster, an item of clothing that was usually made of wool and that would have absorbed much of it.
Now you want to bring the contemporary reports into it? Don't you know that nowadays you just make stuff up and ignore evidence.
G U T
There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.
There was enough saturation for PC Thain to get blood on his hands when he lifted her. However, I've seen it suggested that this blood would have come from the pool around her head which had run beneath her. It wouldn't have come from the abdominal mutilations, which were almost bloodless.
Her back was bloody, and there was blood around the head, but not as much as one would expect. The real mystery is that the torso was so bloodless that her wounds weren't suspected until she was taken to the mortuary shed. Recall that Crossmere put hihis hands down into it to draw her skirts back down, and did not get any blood on his hands in doing so. (We may reasonably infer that he didn't, at any rate, or he'd have been detained and questioned, job or no job.)
Conversely, Sergeant Kirby made a sweep of the area as far as the tracks and found no blood, which militates against the view that Polly was killed on a slope at such an angle that it ran down and away from the body. The only significant quantities of blood present were pooled around her head and under her back, and my understanding is that the latter came from the former.
And it had rained several hours before Polly's murder. I haven't run across anything to confirm or refute it, but if the ground underneath her body were still damp, it could have increased the apparent amount of blood on her back.
Compared to Annie Chapman's murder, Nichols' was a remarkably bloodless affair, and it's this difference which makes me think that her killer must have taken away some of the blood somehow. Even if we set aside my (admittedly rather fanciful) idea of a Frankenstein-Jack, it would be in keeping with his trophy-collecting behavior.
What stands out to me in each event is what's missing: blood at the first; a uterus; a kidney; a heart. If he just wanted one thing, a uterus, as is often portrayed, why leave Mary Kelly's behind? And if he wanted different things from different women, then how can we explain that?
It's an inductive leap, I fully admit. But it's possible to explain what's present by what is absent. If we look at what I'd consider the Unquestionable Four - Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly - Nichols is at first the odd woman out because nothing is missing from her body. Except for blood.
Last edited by Defective Detective : 08-12-2015 at 08:14 PM.
It has to be remembered, of course, that Bucks Row was a public thoroughfare. It was an exceptionally quiet and dark one, but a public street, nevertheless. My guess is, (as I don't believe that Cross/Lechmere was the killer) that Jack heard Cross's hobnail boots coming closer and closer, just as he got started on Polly's abdomen in the stable gateway. We don't know what organs he would have taken from Polly had Cross and Paul not arrived.
I'm afraid I don't agree with you either that Stride isn't one of the C-5, but anyway, it does remind me of the appearance of Diemschutz spoiling Jack's fun in Dutfield's Yard.
I'm not a medically trained person so I have no explanation as to why the front of Polly's dress wasn't soaked in blood. Apparently there was some blood found but not much.
The thing with that is that the wounds inflicted on Polly Nichols' abdomen look cosmetic. While it's true that her intestine protruded through one of the injuries once the body arrived at the mortuary, her wounds are not consistent with an attempt to open up her abdominal cavity as in subsequent murders. If anything they're like more extensive versions of the injuries later inflicted upon Alice McKenzie - four extremely deep cuts on the right-hand side of her torso which, while severe, do not parallel the excision of the navel and subsequent evisceration inflicted on Annie Chapman.
I don't think that the Ripper intended to take any abdominal organs from Polly Nichols. It's too much to call her abdominal injuries superficial, but they weren't conductive to any invasive exploration. I would say that they almost look like an afterthought, like some kind of doodle.
I also don't believe that the killer was interrupted by Crossmere. If we recall the McKenzie case again, PC Andrews heard someone approaching by their footfalls before they even turned into the alleyway, and as I recall something similar occurred with Frances Coles. These were deserted streets at dawn. Assuming he wasn't the murderer (and I don't think that he was), I have a difficult time believing that Crossmere or Paul wouldn't have heard someone walking away.
EDIT: I was right about the Coles thing.
2:15 AM: P.C. Ernest Thompson 240H was on his beat along Chamber Street, only minutes away from Leman Street Police Station. He had been on the police force less than two months, and this was his first night on the beat alone. Thomspon heard the retreating footsteps of a man in the distance, apparently heading toward Mansell Street. Only a few seconds later he turns his vision to the darkest corner of Swallow Gardens and shines his lamp upon the body of Frances Coles.
Granting that Chamber Street isn't Bucks Row, they're both abandoned sidestreets late at night or early in the morning.
It just seems that too often we tend to rely on the idea that the Ripper was interrupted, and multiple times, to explain differences between cases. I think we ought to instead look at ways to explain them without positing some outside motivation. If a street killer has two extremely close calls in the space of a few weeks, I think he'd probably take a very long break unless he were a raving maniac, which I don't believe that the Ripper was.
Last edited by Defective Detective : 08-13-2015 at 12:14 AM.
You're not misremembering, Rocky. When Inspector Spratling arrived on the scene early that morning, he was just in time to see James Green (who worked in the nearby stables) washing away the blood.
Thanks Sam. If Nichols had been killed and carried from somewhere would you think those stables would be the first place to start looking? Did they check them for blood? (Not saying this is what happened)
If Nichols had been killed and carried from somewhere would you think those stables would be the first place to start looking? Did they check them for blood?
Given the body's proximity to the stables, I'm sure the police would have checked then and similar properties in the vicinity. They're on record as having searched the nearby train tracks, so it's a fair bet that their approach was just as thorough elsewhere.
An interesting line of inquiry to be sure but if one were building a woman from spare parts, wouldn't blood be the very last thing you would seek? By the next day it would have become clotted and virtually solid. The Torso Slayings happened largely after the canonical JtR murders so this fellow was going about his gruesome collecting bass ackwards.
If I were building some Frankenstinian monster I would start with the larger body parts, move to the internal organs, and as my final stroke (so to speak) I would obtain the blood and use it immediately.