Jack The Ripper Forums  - Ripperology For The 21st Century  

Go Back   Jack The Ripper Forums - Ripperology For The 21st Century > The Testing Ground

The Testing Ground Nervous about making that first post? Do so here to sharpen those latent posting skills before playing for keeps.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old May 24th, 2017, 04:26 PM   #11
San Fran
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 205
Default

Hi Danni,

I've been interested in the idea of two killers competing ever since I saw "Kiss the Girls". I do recall there was a real situation where that happened and it might have been the Gillis/Lee "team".

I never found another real one, only "bandwagon" stuff and maybe a "tribute" thing. Torsos I'm not up on but I'm guessing one of those plus maybe a hoax.
San Fran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 24th, 2017, 08:29 PM   #12
Danni
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
Default

I wasn't sure at all about the c-sections in the Victorian era but thought you may be right Anna and you were! According to "Cesarean Section - A Brief History' written by the US National Library of Medicine:

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/cesarean/part2.html

C-sections were available and practised in the Victorian era - however, the results (particularly in Paris between 1787 and 1876) appeared to be dismal.

As for the lack of smell in the New Scotland Yard Torso there is the possibility that quick lime was used limit the smell. But not all the details of the case seem to fit with this. While it would solve the smell question it then raises a lot of other questions.

Given quick lime reacts with water, and it appears that the torso had been somewhat drained of blood and that the decomposition had taken place in the 'air' rather than in water then this could possibly account for the skin being in relatively good condition (it would have to have been dry not to react and 'burn' the skin on contact) but the internal portion of the torso was in an advanced state of decay with maggots (which I thought quicklime was supposed to inhibit the growth of). So I scratch my head...

However, wouldn't the lime have been discovered when the torso was examined? And wouldn't this have been an important fact to note? The good doctor seemed concerned that due to the advanced state of decomposition the body was dangerous for people to be around. Then it was sprayed with antiseptic and placed in spirits but would these not have reacted with lime and been visible to an observer? So, I am surprised that lime is not mentioned although it appears to be a relatively reasonable suggestion given the differing testimonies of the witnesses regarding smell. Alternatively, was the parcel just wrapped so tight and left so completely undisturbed that the smell was somewhat 'trapped' until the package was moved?

In any event, this dumping was a risk and it seems like the dumper wanted his actions to be seen rather than just dumping all the pieces into the river at the same time or burying them in lime somewhere else. This dumper chose to spread the bodies around. And it is interesting that never a head/skull was found. Perhaps these were the 'trophies' with the added benefit of making identification even harder.

As for the Torso dumper working as a team with JtR, I'm not too sure that would fit. While I do think that it is likely the methodical, seemingly smart torso dumper would was aware of JtR, JtR seems to be a bit of a different animal. Allough JtR may have heard of the New Scotland Yard torso and perhaps realised (if the two were not the same) that this was not one of 'his' it depends how focused he was on the press and we simply don't know anything vaguely about JtR's mental state. Although as we all know, serial killers can change their MO and operate in different ways and partake in different crimes which can make them such difficult criminals to catch so there always exists the possibility that JtR and the Torso dumper were one and the same.

In regards to a modern pair of serial killers operating in the same geographical area, that was Lee and Gillis. They did not work together. It was just that both serial killers were active in the same area. While I do not know about Lee, from all accounts, Gillis said that he followed what the news was saying about him to predict his next move and if he was "winning" the game of chess he felt he was playing with police.

Gillis was aware that another serial killer was active in the area due to the media coverage and that he followed the deeds of this 'competitor' with great (almost obsessive) interest. Lee's crimes received more press coverage and sensationalism than Gillis' crimes and Gillis wasn't overly thrilled by this. Perhaps it comes from wanting to be the best at what he did and discovering that he had a competitor that was attracting more attention?

In any event, I wouldn't put it past either JtR or the Torso dumper to have been aware of the other due to the press coverage of the crimes. If this spurred them into a more reckless MO or not is something I am interested in. This is because this was when Gillis made an error leaving his distinctive car tracks at a crime scene which I think started and ultimately lead police to his door - although he did leave DNA behind (and confessed when picked up by police) which sealed the deal.

JtR (unless he was very very insane and unaware of his surroundings which I doubt given his timing, luck and ability to keep evading the law) would have been aware of what the press were saying about his own crimes and what the people in the street were saying about his crimes - was this (similarly to Gillis) something that spurred or directed his next murder when the opportunity presented itself? I don't know. But the suggestion of MJK being a copycat kill based on the sensationalised descriptions of JTR crimes in the press could just as easily be flipped as JtR reading (or having related to him) the sensationalised details of his crimes and deciding to give the press exactly what they wanted as long as it suited his own purposes. There are many questions and few solid facts about either JtR or the Torso Dumper. The only real link I can see between them is that they both owned knives.
Danni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25th, 2017, 11:38 AM   #13
Anna Morris
Registered User
 
Anna Morris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Idaho, USA
Posts: 2,976
Default

Depending on what kind of "antiseptic" was sprayed on the torso, there may or may not have been a reaction. Carbolic acid should react with lime. Spirits I believe would not.

In handling meat carcasses, or I suppose murder victims, the important issues up front are to drain blood and empty the abdominal cavity. Decomposition begins rapidly from blood and internal organs. I made the comment earlier on that the English have a reputation of hanging meat much longer than we do in the U.S. I have read that some British meats are rather gamey. Here, say we hunt or do home butchering, hang a carcass for a few days because the meat becomes more tender and seasons a bit. In the industry, carcasses are hung in cooling rooms for varying amounts of time.

People in 1888 were much closer to their food supplies than we are today. (I am rural and independent and very close to my food supply so I know some things first hand.) Basic carcass handling was probably understood by a number of people. It weems with the torsos that at least some were kept for a while before being distributed.

The heads could have been trophies or, since they would be the primary means of identification, the killer(s) made sure they were never found. Today some killers remove heads, hands and feet because of fingerprinting. (While toe prints are unlikely to be available, one could go back to a birth certificate on that.)

I personally do not think we can link Jack and the Torso Killer(s) but I think a number of us wonder to what extent their activities may have influenced each other. Both sets of crimes seem so individualistic. Both killers had the artistic flare to display their work to shock and get attention.

At this time--meaning subject to change--I have an idea Jack got very angry with Polly, he killed her and almost as an after thought he did something he had thought about for a long time and slashed her abdomen. That went well and gave him an adrenaline rush so he chose a few more victims. Things were getting real difficult in October and he had to lie low. When he caught one with her own room he really indulged himself.

In none of Jack's work do we see an attempt to REALLY empty the abdomen of all contents. Intestines and stomach are slashed, nicked and emptied over the whole. Jack did not have any of the habits of the Torso Killer.

I believe in the book, put out by a baking powder company and kindly provided for us somewhere here on the Forum, about Deeming, he turned one of his wive's abdomens into a basic torso. He had the basic idea and that gets my attention. How many other killers thought the same way?

I never thought the abortion issue was valid concerning the torsos and certainly not JtR. I have MANY reasons to think this way. The only way I could see this sort of thing entering in would be if a poor, dissolute woman was pregnant by someone in very high society and she was blackmailing him or the family, etc. But many of the abortifacients were poisons so why not offer an abortion and make sure the drug used was lethal and the results permanent? Besides, how many East End unfortunates actually had the opportunity to get pregnant by upper class men? And before DNA, simple denial should take care of the problem whether or not the child was born, IMO. (A romance novelist would have to use a device like a birth mark on the child identical to birthmarks on all males of a certain line.... Pure rubbish to make the story work.)
__________________
If the shawl doesn't fit, you must acquit.~~Henry Flower, Casebook post
Anna Morris is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 25th, 2017, 07:56 PM   #14
Danni
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
Default

Thanks for the wealth of information Anna! Much appreciated! Some of my internet searches on quicklime and the torsos would probably raise a lot of eyebrows and suspicions if looked over! I would certainly be suspicious to see such a search history! So your answers give me a much more narrow field of research to look at.

I also do not feel that JtR and the Torso Mysteries were committed by the same person. The Torso mystery person seemed incredibly cautious and planned, with great difficulty taken in making the identification of body and method of death virtually impossible. I'm starting to wonder if the great care taken in preventing identification of the torsos and the fact that no one appears to have witnessed anything relating to a dumping suggests that the torso mystery person could have been linked to the victims - or knew them such that an investigation of the women may have revealed a common associate so the fact that Elizabeth Jackson was identified is important. I hazard a guess identification was probably unexpected to whoever dismembered and dumped her. But equally so, they all could have been random.

You make a very good point about the people of the time having a basic knowledge of carcasses. I live in a big city but my grandmother taught me an awful lot of the preparation of food for the dinner table - and she also lived in big cities. So I do believe that a good number of people would have had the basic knowledge to be capable of the crime. Although disarticulation is a more difficult thing and a little more skill may have been required...or practise makes perfect.

And I like the idea that JtR was angry at Polly and then turned his attention towards something he had wanted to do. Something appeared to have sparked an escalation in his focus on women's abdomens.

I have a lot of old texts that arrived on my doorstep yesterday so I have a delightful weekend of reading ahead of me. And if nothing else, I shall be checking all old bibles I come across for forgotten letters...aka the recently discovered potentially genuine HH Holmes letter
Danni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25th, 2017, 09:52 PM   #15
Jerry Dunlop
Information Extractor
 
Jerry Dunlop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,163
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danni View Post
As for the lack of smell in the New Scotland Yard Torso there is the possibility that quick lime was used limit the smell. But not all the details of the case seem to fit with this. While it would solve the smell question it then raises a lot of other questions.

Given quick lime reacts with water, and it appears that the torso had been somewhat drained of blood and that the decomposition had taken place in the 'air' rather than in water then this could possibly account for the skin being in relatively good condition (it would have to have been dry not to react and 'burn' the skin on contact) but the internal portion of the torso was in an advanced state of decay with maggots (which I thought quicklime was supposed to inhibit the growth of). So I scratch my head...

However, wouldn't the lime have been discovered when the torso was examined? And wouldn't this have been an important fact to note? The good doctor seemed concerned that due to the advanced state of decomposition the body was dangerous for people to be around. Then it was sprayed with antiseptic and placed in spirits but would these not have reacted with lime and been visible to an observer? So, I am surprised that lime is not mentioned although it appears to be a relatively reasonable suggestion given the differing testimonies of the witnesses regarding smell. Alternatively, was the parcel just wrapped so tight and left so completely undisturbed that the smell was somewhat 'trapped' until the package was moved?
Danni,

Regarding the Whitehall Torso, it was said (I believe by a journalist; so maybe reliable, maybe not) that it was Condy's Fluid that was believed to have been possibly administered to the torso. Not Quick lime. From my understanding, Condy's Fluid acts much like Chloride of Lime and the opposite of Quick lime. It acts as a disinfectant (smell) and a preservative. It also leaves a purple/brown discoloration on skin which is why I believe it was noted as a possibility in the Whitehall case.
Jerry Dunlop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25th, 2017, 10:44 PM   #16
Anna Morris
Registered User
 
Anna Morris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Idaho, USA
Posts: 2,976
Default

I was going to be a smart aleck and quote from my "Merck Index" on Condy's Fluid. (Pre-internet and always starved for learning, I used to read this for fun.) Condy's Fluid isn't in it under any heading, so on to good old Wiki. The whole entry is so interesting I think I can attach it here.

Yikes! It looks like you could do anything with this stuff! I bet they used it for abortions as well. The permanganate would give the purplish/brownish color. That really stains. I'd also bet the formula varied from batch to batch.
Attached Images
File Type: png Henry Bollmann Condy - Wikipedia.clipular.png (199.4 KB, 19 views)
__________________
If the shawl doesn't fit, you must acquit.~~Henry Flower, Casebook post
Anna Morris is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 25th, 2017, 11:46 PM   #17
Jerry Dunlop
Information Extractor
 
Jerry Dunlop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,163
Default

Thanks Anna,

It sounds like it could be used for just about anything!! Your Wiki list cover a lot of uses.

Here are some institutions that were using it.

Charity Record
Thursday, July 18, 1889, London, Middlesex

Jerry Dunlop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2017, 12:02 AM   #18
Danni
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
Danni,

Regarding the Whitehall Torso, it was said (I believe by a journalist; so maybe reliable, maybe not) that it was Condy's Fluid that was believed to have been possibly administered to the torso. Not Quick lime. From my understanding, Condy's Fluid acts much like Chloride of Lime and the opposite of Quick lime. It acts as a disinfectant (smell) and a preservative. It also leaves a purple/brown discoloration on skin which is why I believe it was noted as a possibility in the Whitehall case.
Wow! Thanks for that information JerryD! That's an awesome find and I hadn't heard of it or read about it on the threads! Although I admit could have forgotten since I've been reading so much! And such a preservative would account for the skin being in a good condition and as Anna points out, some staining! It would also somewhat account for the doctor being able to actually examine and judge the condition of the organs which remained in the torso.

Thank you both for providing me with such clear and concise information and for being so patient with me! Hopefully I will be add to contribute something of value at some point to the ongoing research!
Danni is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10 Beta 2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright @ Howard & Nina Brown 2015-2022