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  • #31

    I completely disagree with your idea that we all get one chance - there is no reason why a prominent researcher cannot admit that their initial preferred suspect just is not leading them toward anything and as a result they are taking their research efforts elsewhere. It is actually noble, to admit it and still fight on.


    You have summed up the despair that entrenches this case perfectly. Someone committed the murders, so by definition, since the murders took place, they can be solved because someone had to have committed them. The true issue is not with that, but with the majority's unwillingness to accept any solution, regardless of how many unanswered questions it finally clears up. To me, that is reflective of the people, not the case.

    And one more thing, just because you can't find something or because you can't see something there does not mean it isn't. That kind of arrogance permeates throughout many of the people who research this case and further proves what I have been saying for awhile, that the researcher who favors "unknown man" is simply favoring a non-existent suspect because they can not do anything more with their research abilities.

    I am sorry if these are tough words but the truth of the matter is that I am invested in solving this case and take umbrage at people who preach to me that it can't be done while simultaneously doing nothing in an attempt to prove themselves correct.

    And notice how once an actual discussion began it did not take long for someone to try and derail it with some kind of sidetracked attempt at comedy. How can we mock the academic community that laughs at us when we foster the reasons for their laughter?


    • #32
      Best Possible Case

      I have to agree with Stan that anyone is entitled to make as many attempts as they wish with regard to identifying the Ripper. However, I do not really look upon it as 'identifying the Ripper', it is more in the way of presenting a best possible case for a named suspect being the Ripper, i.e. looking at the facts and then establishing what you feel is the best scenario for that person being the murderer.

      In the case of Tumblety it was not a name I snatched out of thin air, for it was a name that was unknown in Ripper circles at the time. It was a name that provided a valid subject for research as it was provided by a contemporary head at Scotland Yard as 'amongst the suspects' and to his mind 'a very likely one.' We can debate forever the merits of Littlechild's statements, but they cannot be ignored. Any book on a suspect must be selective in the material used and cannot possibly be wholly objective - after all, you are looking at a subject. The case was bound to be inconclusive, although as a writer you are expected to make the best of what you have. Recognising that the case cannot be positively solved is a caveat that must always be applied to any theory.

      I think that Stan probably credits me with more influence than I actually have. He does not like me publicly stating that I believe the case to be unsolvable. However, that is my right and if I am asked I have to give an honest answer. I certainly hope that Stan isn't suggesting that I keep quiet. Stan speaks of 'the majority's unwillingness to accept any solution, regardless of how many unanswered questions it finally clears up.' I don't really know what he means by that and I suspect that it could be answered only if he wrote a solution to the case himself.

      I respect Stan's sincerity but he certainly does have a different view of things to mine. That's fine and as it should be, but I do wonder if he fully understands the nature of evidence and its application to various aspects of this case. Surely anyone is entitled to tell him that the case cannot be solved without, at the same time, having to prove themselves correct. Such beliefs are based on personal experience, knowledge and interpretation of facts. I agree with Stan, though, that if serious discussion is being engaged in then humour may be rather out of place.

      To sum up, Stan feels that my public comments that the case cannot be solved puts a damper on things, discourages others and hinders the search for a solution. However, I have never discouraged anyone from research, in fact quite the opposite. Can anyone imagine that anything I might say would discourage AP or prevent him from doing further research on Cutbush? Of course not, and I wouldn't expect it to. More to the point, I wouldn't want it to. But that doesn't stop me from stating that I do not believe that he will ever find anything in the way of proof. For in Ripperworld the best anyone can do is to come up with a 'best possible scenario' and hope that their arguments sway the opinion of others thus providing a 'best possible suspect theory'. But that falls far short of proving who Jack the Ripper was.

      Finally, I have to ask Stan, if he is happy to do so, to supply any sensible scenario that he feels would provide a solution to the case. And we already know that a written confession, without any solid and valid corroboration, can't do it.


      • #33

        Originally posted by How Brown View Post
        Since this is, in a sense, SPE's thread...maybe he could answer this question:
        In your years of research, have you ever come across any attempt to create evidence that most of us, if not all of us, have never heard of ?
        I am not referring to the following disputable issues for this particular question:
        ***The Maybrick Saga
        ***The September 17th Letter
        ***The Abberline Diaries
        ***The "Uncle Jack" Saga
        ***The Royals Conspiracy
        Something not post-1992 or as recent as the advent of Casebook's message boards...something back when you were first starting out in the field.
        Thank you.
        That's not a place that I would like to go How, sorry.


        • #34
          Understood,Mr. E.
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          • #35
            Hi All,

            I'm sorry Stan, but it was something you wrote that caused me to laugh out loud, but it actually struck a chord with me:

            Originally posted by Stan Russo View Post

            This is why people who are involved in this case are viewed as nuts by the academic community. It's akin to Jonas Salk saying that there is no way he can find the cure but he will keep on playing around because he enjoys touching germs. It's creepy...
            I take on board Sam's objections to the validity of your comparison, but what matters is whether it's the perception of many people on the 'outside' that we are splashing and thrashing about in a blocked lavatory and telling the world we are quite happy that our only working plunger was lost 120 years ago.

            There is no doubt that the plunger did exist - ie the one and only solution to the case. But like SPE I doubt that anyone will ever find evidence of enough of the right pieces, to reconstruct it so it doesn't just look (and smell) like a very likely plunger, but it's the only one that can finally free up the blockage and spew us out into the fresh air.

            What I don't think you can claim is that people are in general being influenced by muck-drenched lavatory dwellers insisting that if they can't find the damned plunger, after 40 years of wallowing, there's not a cat in hell's chance of anyone else finding it so don't bother joining us in the soup.

            The 'field' appears to be more popular than ever, with more and more squeaky clean outsiders wanting to dip their toes into our open sewer and stay for a good old wallow.

            Oh and humour can't hurt if it can be used to get a point or two across. And it never hurts to laugh at ourselves. Get in before anyone else does is usually my motto.


            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen


            • #36
              Stewart, could I have a shot at your question to Stan?

              Suppose that the lunacy records of some violent lunatic very much like David Cohen come to light. The records differ from Cohen's in so far as they date from a few years later, plus they include the following :

              Lunatic raves about the Ripper murders, imagines himself the Ripper, describes the crimes etc.

              Lunatic is visited, in swift succession, by Drs Phillips, Brown and Bond.

              And even, police arrive with unknown man to visit lunatic (I am not talking about the Seaside Home here).

              After these visits, security surrounding lunatic is made even tighter than it was before.

              This might not in itself be proof, but it would be worth getting our teeth into, wouldn't it? We can add that lunatic lived in Whitechapel. Lunatic had served a prison sentence directly after the Kelly murder. Etc.

              I'm not suggesting this as a likely scenario, merely an illustration of the kind of thing we could hope for.


              • #37

                Of course you have the right to speak out as you feel and you know me well enough to know that I know that. You should be honest, but I think you should also understand that that honesty does affect things. I think you may be undersimplifying your status on this case. And it's important for you to understand that your words and the ramifications they hold are not an indictment of you but an indictment of the level of researcher that this case has brought in. Your words, while your truthful opinions, which I respect and respectfully disagree with, will never stop AP and never stop me and never stop a handful of others, but I place AP, myself and this handful in the distinct minority.

                I have a solution that, as we have discussed, I am currently in the process of trying to disprove. I think that is the best way to harden my theory or subsequently dismantle it. I also wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that it is not about "proof" anymore, because this will never be a jury case and it does not have to be. However, and you knew it was coming, best possible scenario is something that has been thrown away with the baby and the bathwater nowadays. Due to the fact that almost everyone agrees there will never be any absolute proof to close this case permanently, there are those who have bastardized that for their own benefits, most notably to present theories such as "unknown man", which offers them a safe haven, which I find a little repugnant.

                The comment on the humor is not that I am such a stick in the mud, yet I hear constant complaints at the conventions and from people who hate the academic community looking down on this "field" yet most of those same people become their own worst enemies and may not even realize it. It also seems that every time a serious discussion is attempted someone jumps in with a sidetrack and while I couldn't care less how this "field" is perceived, there are people who do care and unfortunately they are some of the same people who contribute to the very reasons why this "field" is considered hokey.


                maybe it's the languiage barrier but I couldn't follow the whole toilet bowl analogy, but I will give it a go at trying to respond. While Sam states that there is an actual tangible lock to put the key in, for Polio, there also exists a tangible lock here, the murderer, for which a key will fit, the solution. The problem exists that Sam, like most, will refuse to accept anything by way of a key that fits the hole because, and this is based on his acceptance of the "unknown man theory", he did not and could not come up with a solution.

                There are many solutions in Physics, for a myriad of problems and one solution is more elegant than the other, as Physicists would describe. This is what Stewart is getting at when he refers to "best possible scenario", I believe, yet there are many out there who have a vested interest in no scenarios or the demolition of a "best possible scenario". This allows them to continue to be involved, while getting nothing really done other than bashing the idea of a "best possible scenario", which is also a term for "solution".

                The "field's" popularity should never be a concern. I am not sure why anyone would care how popular this "field" is other than those who are, in my opinion, on the wrong side of the issues. I'd rather have only 10 passionate researchers who actually want to contribute than 1,000 people who use this case to do nothing but make friends and comment on Cricket. that's just me though.


                Two things:

                1 - David Cohen is an awful suspect and there is inferential evidence that eliminates him from consideration, under the confounds of the theory that proposed him.

                2 - If such records were discovered, I would hope they would be researched and researched in great detail because it could have been him and this is an important point that I have been stressing for years. Siomply because a theory is disproved, such as the one surrounding David Cohen, that does not automatically eliminate him from consideration as a suspect.


                • #38
                  Hi Stan

                  I wasn't so much pushing Cohen as using his name to bring in the idea of a violent lunatic. The lunatic could be anyone.

                  If you mean, that just because a particular theory is disproved, that doesn't mean that the same suspect cannot be reconsidered under a newer, better theory, then I agree.


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Stan Russo View Post
                    You have summed up the despair that entrenches this case perfectly.
                    Who's "despairing"? I'm certainly not.
                    And one more thing, just because you can't find something or because you can't see something there does not mean it isn't. That kind of arrogance permeates throughout many of the people who research this case
                    If there's any arrogance here, it's the arrogance behind the belief that we can conjure solutions in the face of an almost complete lack of physical evidence, and in the absence of any realistic means of corroboration.
                    How can we mock the academic community that laughs at us when we foster the reasons for their laughter?
                    I think you'll find that academia is more likely to laugh at gullibility.


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                      I'm not suggesting this as a likely scenario, merely an illustration of the kind of thing we could hope for.
                      Indeed, Robert - but it would never constitute proof. For that, we'd need to know this chap's precise whereabouts at (e.g.) 05:35 on 8th September AND at 01:42 on 30th September 1888. That just isn't possible, I'm afraid.

                      I should point out (for Stan's benefit) that my "despair" doesn't extend to the discovery of new, plausible, suspects - on the contrary, I'm always interested in hearing about them. However, I'm not so naïve that I'm holding out for a definitive, incontrovertible identification - because that simply can't be done at this remove in time.


                      • #41
                        Hi Gareth

                        Could you sketch out what you think would have constituted proof in 1888 ? I'm assuming here that Lawende's , Schwarz's , Hutchinson's etc identifications could have been met with the rejoinder "It's his word against mine" and that the suspect didn't behave like the murderers in fictional detective cases who scream "Damn you!" and make a run for it. So what are we looking at - the suspect being identified by two witnesses?


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                          Could you sketch out what you think would have constituted proof in 1888 ? So what are we looking at - the suspect being identified by two witnesses?
                          That might be a step in the right direction, but then we'd need - God only knows how! - to verify his whereabouts at the time(s) in question. In other words, we'd need to take precisely the same steps as the police or a court in ruling out any potential alibis, amassing further evidence, etc. Given that this wasn't done at the time, it sure as eggs is eggs can't be done now.

                          Now, were we to find two witnesses who made a positive identification of the same suspect, it would make him an extremely interesting possibility, and a development I'd welcome with avid interest. I might put him at the top of my "plausible" list... but in all good faith I could not do anything more.


                          • #43
                            I'm by no means as pessimistic as many others in this regard; and have of recent felt that we are but one single and sly document or report away from the truth of the matter.
                            Where others might see the tumbling of bricks, I see a house being built. Once the brickwork is finished we shall be able to put in the windows and peer into the house. I believe we are almost at that stage now, and very soon a door should appear and we will be able to walk into the house.
                            I would like to say that I hold the key to that door, but I only think I do.


                            • #44

                              I believe that is the right attitude.

                              Sam believes that you are wasting your time trying to solve or even come up with the most plausible soultion, because he cannot and will not accept anything anymore. His ridiculous criteria shows how off base he is and how much of a detriment people with his perception are to this unsolved series of murders.

                              When someone comes along and says they will accept nothing, one has to wonder what the hell they are doing hanging around in the first place.

                              To some, there exists a legitimate pursuit to come up with the best possible theory and one that is an advance on anything that has been proposed before.

                              To others, anything short of a postcard with the murderer holding a bloody knife is unacceptable.

                              If I thought there was no hope of even coming up with a plausible solution, thqt was more advanced than any one before, I wouldn't be here. As I said earlier, many times before, there are plenty of places to follow Victorian police habits and the economics of the East End of London in the nineteenth century. Choosing to do so in connection to this case has its reasons.

                              The truth, which they will never reveal, is that they feel obligated to be here to mock and demolish those who put forth any effort.


                              • #45
                                Please...lets not be as critical of each other's views on solving the Case. I would prefer it that way,since the primary goal of this thread ( and by all means,members may start up threads to debate or discuss how they feel in regard to that aspect of the case should already know that) was to explore what Mr. Evans' views were after 40 years on the hunt.

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