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33. Other Don't agree with any of the preceding 32? Got your own ideas? Tell us about them in here.

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Old July 19th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #1
AP Wolf
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I'm here to argue that the Whitechapel Murderer may well have acted out his murderous deeds in response to an imagined threat, which was very real to him, and that his violent responses were purely and simply actions of self defence to such imagined threats.
Let me introduce you to John Gavan, 18 at the time, who brutally murdered his father with a knife in 1893.
Interesting to note that in 1888 he was a mere child of 14 but his friends felt that he represented a danger even then.

'GEORGE ELLIOT ANSTRUTHER . I am a clerk at 92, Queen's Road, Peckham—I have known the prisoner four years—from 1888 to 1892 I had frequent opportunities of observing him—he used frequently to ask me to write songs for him—he said he was going to make his appearance on the boards of the principal West-end music-halls; that he would have a carriage specially constructed for him—I formed the opinion that he was suffering from hallucinations throughout the whole four years.
PHILIP FRANCIS GILBERT . I am medical officer of Holloway Prison—I have had the prisoner under my observation from the 15th of May up to the present time—I have examined him—physically he is of very low type indeed—his head is ill-formed—I spoke to him about why he did this, and why he was there—he said it was a life for a life; that his father and brother were trying to kill him, trying to poison him in various ways, putting lice on his food, mixing phosphorous with paraffin and putting it on his bed, and poisoning the towels he used; he was full of persecution at their hands—he persists in those ideas—he was not shamming; he believes what he says—the putting of poison in food is a very common delusion—I know the facts of this case, and I also know that his mother is at present in a lunatic asylum.
Cross-examined. That fact would tend the more to show that he is insane—his idea is that he acted in self-defence—he is undoubtedly of unsound mind at the present time.
The prisoner, in a long statement before the Magistrate, and in a letter written by him in prison, asserted that he was being poisoned, and that what he did was in self-defence.'
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Old July 19th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #2
Howard Brown
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Good find,A.P..

Let me add this to your post: What do you think of the possibility that the Ripper may have imagined he was defending the Empire or his neighborhood from prosses,debauchery,public nuisance,harlotry,disease,ad infinitum?

Sort of like : Think global,act local.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #3
AP Wolf
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Thanks How,
I have always believed that the killer was spawned by the apparent defeat of Empire in the Zulu Wars; and was motivated by a sort of boy's own comic dream to exact a massive revenge.
If he could have planted a nuclear device in new Scotland Yard he would have done so, he went for next best thing instead.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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In essence,A.P....the search for motive ( and I believe you have mentioned this several times in one form or another ) in these crimes is basically futile,correct?

Not that the Whitechapel Murderer didn't have some bizarre "reason" for his acts, but for us to ascertain it would be or is futile.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:33 AM   #5
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Hi ho

One could argue that if the killer did not know why he killed them, after some innocent interaction on their part that triggered off something in his head that he could neither control, understand or predict.......then it would be an essentially motiveless crime.

The existence of a motive is, like the postulation that they were sex crimes, usually put forward so the proponent can either support his favourite suspect or indulge in a little profiling for whatever reason.

There is neither evidence for motive nor anything to back up the notion that there always must be one.

p
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Old July 26th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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Thanks How and Mr P
I've been looking at cases where self-defence has been used in motiveless murders, and this one is really rather interesting:

'THEOPHILUS BUBBLY HISLOP , M.D. I am lecturer on mental diseases at St. Mary's Hospital, demonstrator of psychology at, St. George's Hospital, and senior assistant physician at Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane—I have had an opportunity of seeing the prisoner at Holloway—I came to the conclusion that he is now of unsound mind, and, so far as I could understand, the beginning of the trouble was in infancy to the best of my belief he was of unsound mind at the time he committed this act—I found the prisoner to be suffering from delusions of persecution, which, have arisen in various ways through the senses; he had the idea that he was poisoned; he also had perversions of smell, of the significance of which he was unaware; he also on various occasions heard voice, calling out to him the word "Rats!" the significance of which was that rat-poison had been put into his food—he imagined that he could actually taste poison in his food—he has been in Holloway Prison on four separate occasions he has stated that he has tasted poison in his food, and it had a very serious effect on his physical condition-a sunstroke in infancy is sometimes followed by various sequelae of this kind; there may be some uncontrollable impulse, or homocidai tendencies which may be carried through life: or there may be various other mental manifestations some eight years ago I collected a number of cases of sunstroke in infancy which had
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been followed by similar perversions—I should say that when he committed this act he was not conscious that it was one he ought not to commit, from his own statement that he believed at the time he was carrying out God's will—the delusions from which he suffered had dominated the whole of the individual—I cannot say whether when he committed the act he would be likely to know the consequences to himself, beyond this, that I put the question to the prisoner and he said that before God he did not know the consequences at the time he committed the act, so that he did not calculate the consequences—I believe the act was the outcome of those delusions—I agree with Dr. Bastian that the fact of two of his brothers by the same father having been insane would induce me to come to the conclusion that the prisoner is of an unsound, nervous disposition—I do not think his mind was in such a condition that he could judge between right and wrong; I think he regarded himself as being infallible and simply carrying out the will of God—privation and hunger is the most productive means of loss of control—I should think the fact of his violence having increased of late years would point to the growth of his condition of delusional insanity; cases of delusional insanity do tend to become more demonstrative—owing to his suffering from hunger and privation the control over his will was weakened.
Cross-examined. The chief delusion under which I considered the prisoner was acting was that Mr. Terriss had done him some injury by preventing him from getting better employment; and that he was persecuted directly and indirectly by Mr. Terriss—I believe what he did was done in revenge for this supposed injury—starvation would increase the absence of control over himself—if under the influence of that starvation he had stolen food I should not suggest he was not responsible for that act, if that was the only feature in the case—some of his delusions had reference to food—it was because of his delusions I think he had not control over his actions—if he had merely inflicted some injury on Mr. Terriss with a view to preventing him performing at the theatre that night I should say he would have had more control, he would have manifested more control than he did—I take into account the fact that after he had stabbed him twice in the back, he stabbed him a third time to the heart—I have no doubt that when he inflicted that third blow he intended to kill him—the prisoner has demonstrated on myself exactly how he did it, and he has stated that he did it in the usual stage manner—my statement of my belief that he did it under the belief that he was doing it under the will of the Almighty is based on the prisoner's statement to me in the prison, after his committal for trial—I had not seen him, or heard such a statement, before he was committed for trial—I do not think it likely he would tell that to the policeman immediately after it happened—there was no statement of the kind fill I came to examine him.
Re-examined. I have heard the evidence that he said he was Jesus Christ; that type of insanity is very common, to have hallucination of tastes and delusions, associated with the idea that the person is Christ, and very possibly the belief that he was carrying out the will of the Almighty—I never heard any delusions from him as to the rights of property—the post-cards and letters written in 1895 and 1896 indicate that the prisoner was suffering mentally, and show that the disease was
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growing stronger, and point, I should say, to acts of violence—probably want of food and dissappointmcnt would increase the mental stress and strain, and dimmish the want of self-control.
By the COURT. I had it in my mind with regard to the prisoner's statements to me that he might be making out that he was mad—when I questioned the prisoner as to his hallucination of taste he fell in with one's usual experience in Bethlehem—he was most indignant that there should be any question as to his mental condition.'
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Old July 26th, 2008, 09:07 PM   #7
Howard Brown
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Dear A.P. & Lars:

Let me ask this ( not to disrupt the thread too much)...

Do either of you envision the Ripper being of the type of killer David Berkowitz was back in 1977? That sort of individual?

Sorry to disrupt the thread but I just hadda ask you two.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #8
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That's a difficult one to answer, How. But I'll try.
Could I see the Whitechapel Murderer - if his crimes had been carried out in our age - hosting a web-site where he apologises to his victims and their families through the medium of Jesus Christ and the Lord after claiming that a dog influenced by the Devil told him to do it?
Nah.
For my impression is that folks who are mad enough to kill other folks because of imagined or self-perceived threats to their own life never ever recover from that madness, and carry that threat to the grave with them.
Just like Thomas Cutbush did.
He didn't find Jesus, or the Lord, merely his mad old self.
Just like his uncle Charles.
It required a 'big bang', not the Lord, to apologise I mean.
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