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Point To Ponder : Prostitute Or Destitute ?

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  • Point To Ponder : Prostitute Or Destitute ?

    In order that no one who isn't a member of The Forums gets the idea that we're a closed-minded lot...

    From all you've read and analyzed, is it your opinion at this point in time that all or none or some of the Ripper victims were engaging in prostitution at the time of their death ?
    18
    Yes
    66.67%
    12
    No
    0.00%
    0
    Some ( Be specific)
    27.78%
    5
    Still On The Fence
    5.56%
    1
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  • #2
    Gary Barnett brought the question of whether Clay Pipe Mackenzie was engaged or had ever been involved with the 2nd oldest profession, here :

    Was Alice ‘McKenzie’ a prostitute?

    https://www.jtrforums.com/showthread...018#post392018
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    • #3
      "Be specific",............... I believe all of the C-5 as well as Emma Smith, Martha Tabram, Alice and Frances Coles engaged in casual prostitution when destitution pushed them into it. I have long felt four of the C-5 may or may not have been engaged in prostitution when killed. I believe keeping the possibilities open on what exactly these women were doing when they were murdered could improve our abilities to understand the cases.

      Some serial killers have gone for specific looks, ages, availability, etc. While it appears all of the C-5 did sometimes engage in casual prostitution, for all we know the Ripper may have sought women who were middle aged, drunk and or a certain height. He didn't seem to perform any level of sexual acts with his victims so it is possible the initial interactions had to do with something entirely different from prostitution.

      For instance it has been noted some of the murders happened near markets that were setting up. Annie and Kate are two of these cases and both women were identified as hawkers at some points in their lives. What if they went to or toward the markets hoping for a bit of work, items to sell or some other kind of handout? What if the Ripper was a vendor who promised something like this but lured his victims to areas where he could attack? We would then be looking for a lunatic who worked at a market rather than a general pervert who was wandering the dark streets hunting victims for sport.
      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe that all of the canonical five were unfortunates, plus Emma Smith, Martha Tabram, Frances Coles - being engaged, at least some of the time in prostitution...not sure about Alice McKenzie, but suspect the odds are she was.

        On a more specific level, looking at the night of their deaths, I think Emma Smith, Martha Tabram, Polly Nicholls, Annie Chapman, Mary Jane Kelly and Frances Coles were all certainly actively engaged in seeking clients and Catherine Eddowes very likely...I'm not quite so sure of Liz Stride...I think it's just possible she had her mind elsewhere that night...also not sure about Alice McKenzie...

        Does it really matter in terms of effect? I don't think, either way, it prevented the police from attempting to do their best, nor, fanned by the press, did it allay any fears amongst the wider populace...nor for that matter did it prevent the Queen from expressing her views quite forcibly...does make the attitudes of one or two Home Office officials look a tad callous at times...and for that matter I've never heard of anybody in Ripperology dismissing or even describing any of these ladies as "just" prostitutes, or "only" prostitutes...only Ms Rubenhold...

        Comment


        • #5
          On a more specific level, looking at the night of their deaths, I think Emma Smith, Martha Tabram, Polly Nicholls, Annie Chapman, Mary Jane Kelly and Frances Coles were all certainly actively engaged in seeking clients and Catherine Eddowes very likely...I'm not quite so sure of Liz Stride...I think it's just possible she had her mind elsewhere that night...also not sure about Alice McKenzie..


          Thanks Dave....that mirrors my thinking at present.
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          • #6
            sic

            Hello Howard. Little doubt about Polly and Annie.


            Grave doubts about Kate.


            Cheers.
            LC

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
              From all you've read and analyzed, is it your opinion at this point in time that all or none or some of the Ripper victims were engaging in prostitution at the time of their death ?
              Yes, all
              Best Wishes,
              Cris Malone
              ______________________________________________
              "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

              Comment


              • #8
                Put it this way: I doubt any of the victims would have reached for the smelling salts if offered a decent amount of coinage in return for a spot of indecency.

                That doesn't mean they were all out looking for business every night, but the poor dears needed to eat, didn't they?

                I don't see that as any reflection on their morals, although H.R. Pufnstuf may differ.

                Love,

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Where's the "like button" when you need it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have to agree with pretty much everyone else here in saying that there can be surely little doubt that they all engaged in it as and when necessary to make ends meet. As discussed elsewhere, that's no sleight on them personally, in the world of Victorian London you simply did what you had to do to make it from one day to the next. Annie Chapman was perhaps too unwell to have been actively soliciting on the morning of her death, and Catherine Eddowes had just been released from prison so what she was up to could be questionable as well. But from the C5, I think there can be little doubt that Nichols, Stride and Kelly were all soliciting on the night of their deaths, and all of them would most likely have been open to any financial opportunity that happened to come their way.

                    Cheers,
                    Adam.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think Adam made an important point in saying, "any financial opportunity that came their way", to make ends meet.
                      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                        Have to agree with pretty much everyone else here in saying that there can be surely little doubt that they all engaged in it as and when necessary to make ends meet. As discussed elsewhere, that's no sleight on them personally, in the world of Victorian London you simply did what you had to do to make it from one day to the next. Annie Chapman was perhaps too unwell to have been actively soliciting on the morning of her death, and Catherine Eddowes had just been released from prison so what she was up to could be questionable as well. But from the C5, I think there can be little doubt that Nichols, Stride and Kelly were all soliciting on the night of their deaths, and all of them would most likely have been open to any financial opportunity that happened to come their way.

                        Cheers,
                        Adam.

                        Nobody knows for certain what the C5 were doing in the hours before they died, and whether or not they were actively soliciting is actually irrelevant. The question is, were they disposed to provide sex in return for money if approached to do so, and there is little reason to doubt that the answer to that question is yes. There is no need to go over the evidence for that conclusion yet again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paul View Post
                          Nobody knows for certain what the C5 were doing in the hours before they died, and whether or not they were actively soliciting is actually irrelevant. The question is, were they disposed to provide sex in return for money if approached to do so, and there is little reason to doubt that the answer to that question is yes. There is no need to go over the evidence for that conclusion yet again.
                          I think that we can deduce without evidence to the contrary. that possibility of frequenting the alleys and lanes of Whitechapel was not conducive to the welfare of those concerned. Follow the money!
                          PC' Flogger' Smith.,
                          H Division.
                          Be nice to one another!
                          Merv

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                            Have to agree with pretty much everyone else here in saying that there can be surely little doubt that they all engaged in it as and when necessary to make ends meet. As discussed elsewhere, that's no sleight on them personally, in the world of Victorian London you simply did what you had to do to make it from one day to the next. Annie Chapman was perhaps too unwell to have been actively soliciting on the morning of her death, and Catherine Eddowes had just been released from prison so what she was up to could be questionable as well. But from the C5, I think there can be little doubt that Nichols, Stride and Kelly were all soliciting on the night of their deaths, and all of them would most likely have been open to any financial opportunity that happened to come their way.

                            Cheers,
                            Adam.
                            You make a lot of good points there, Adam. Indeed, it was the probable profession of most if not all of the Whitechapel murder victims and is not and should not be a point of moral censure or a ticket to victim blame.
                            I'm not so sure about your assessment of Chapman though, it doesn't really seem to fit with me otherwise. If Elizabeth Long's account was correct, I'm not sure what else the man she was speaking to could have meant by inquiring 'will you?' Also, I don't really see what else she and her assailant could have been doing together in the yard at that time. Of course, it's possible she wasn't soliciting, it just seems to me she probably was.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I expect Annie's companion was asking her if she fancied getting her head down in the back yard for a few zzzzzz. I'm sure she'd have obliged, especially if he called it a "financial opportunity".

                              Is this really what H.R. Pufnstuf's argument boils down to? The difference between an opportunity to eat and an opportunity to sleep?

                              Love,

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

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