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Point To Ponder : Murdered While Sleeping Rough

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

    I'm sure it's difficult for any of us to get inside the mind of either a prostitute in 1888 or a client, and judge where they would have felt most comfortable.

    But I find it very difficult indeed to believe that a woman would have chosen to sleep in the spot where Annie Chapman's body was found - particularly given that it was a cold night - rather than in the passageway that led to it. Or that if she had chosen to sleep in the back yard, she would have picked a spot right outside the back door, where anyone going into the yard would have been likely to tread on her, rather than a corner of the yard where she would be less likely to be disturbed.
    Thanks, Chris.

    Just to be explicit, my interest is strictly from an investigative point of view. I pass no moral judgment about Chapman soliciting, nor am I defending Rubenhold's ideas. I generally agree with the sentiments expressed by Adam in an earlier post.

    However, let's recall Augusta Dawes, the woman murdered by Reginald Saunderson. She was described as an 'unfortunate' and undoubtedly was. Yes, she was murdered in the street, but at the same time, there is no doubt whatsoever that she was simply walking home minding her own business when Saunderson ran up to her and began strangling her before cutting her throat.

    Thus, a 'prostitute' being killed in the street does not, in itself, prove she was killed while soliciting.

    Ultimately, I'm just questioning whether some of the objections to Chapman 'sleeping rough' in the backyard of Hanbury Street don't also apply to the idea of her engaging in a sexual act in the backyard of Hanbury Street. I'm not particularly keen on either theory.

    Richardson deposed that he shut the front door of No. 29 when he left. I believe him.

    Thus, No. 29 is a house with a closed front door just like any other house lining the street.

    While I am firmly in the camp of those who believe Chapman was murdered at 5.30 a.m., and I want to believe the account given by Elizabeth Long (and give it considerable weight) I have always been uncomfortable with the notion that Chapman, a sickly woman in her mid-40s, was soliciting while the sun is rising, and having found a willing client, is now randomly trying door knobs of closed doors along Hanbury Street-without knowing what she will find, and on a market morning when, as circumstances soon prove, people are already getting up and beginning their work day.

    It could be true, but I find it awkward. At the same time, I can't ignore the accounts of Richardson, Cadoche, and Long.

    Again, strictly from an investigative point of view, if Chapman was indeed conducting 'trade,' doesn't this at least suggest that she had some prior knowledge of the building? Isn't that something that would need to be investigated?

    Which is why I asked whether people believe this was her normal 'patch.' It's an open question; I don't have an answer.

    In the end, we mainly judge the plausibility of various scenarios by our own life experiences.

    One thing I noticed while out all night in an urban setting is one of the biggest pain-in-the-necks is finding a suitable toilet, particularly in the morning hours when the pubs are closed. It is undoubtedly worse for women who face added inconveniences. Another thing is that people sleeping rough tend to get up and move when the sun is coming up...before they are forcibly removed.

    For me, it's not an either/or.

    If push came to shove, I might accept that Chapman went with the man described by Liz Long, but in my mind's eye I sometimes imagine her sleeping rough in a doorway up the street or in one of the courts. She's getting up and is moving along. She sees Richardson quickly enter and leave No. 29, and needing to use the lavatory, simply enters the building and is followed by the Ripper, who is himself trudging along the streets at that lonely, miserable hour. Pure phantasy, I suppose, but I find it more alluring than the alternatives.

    Ditto Polly Nichols. People think it is ridiculous that she is resting in front of the gate, but I'm trying to get my mind around their belief that she is planning to have sex in the middle of the pavement on what is literally the path of a beat constable. It could be true. But why couldn't see simply have been attacked while walking down the street, as we know was the case with the victims attacked by Saunderson and Colocott and Cutbush?

    I guess what I am railing against is Sir Robert Anderson's statement that only a 'certain class of women'--ie., prostitutes--were at risk. I dispute that. In this case, I align with the Rubenholds of the world. I think the murderer would have attacked any woman who was unlucky enough to have been outdoors after dark, or even in the early morning, whether she was soliciting or sleeping rough.





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    • #62
      Chris:

      I'm sorry for the problem...There were two 'cool' icons. I was unaware of the 2nd one....I removed them both.
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      • #63
        Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
        Chris:

        I'm sorry for the problem...There were two 'cool' icons. I was unaware of the 2nd one....I removed them both.
        Thanks.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

          Thanks, Chris.

          Just to be explicit, my interest is strictly from an investigative point of view. I pass no moral judgment about Chapman soliciting, nor am I defending Rubenhold's ideas. I generally agree with the sentiments expressed by Adam in an earlier post.

          However, let's recall Augusta Dawes, the woman murdered by Reginald Saunderson. She was described as an 'unfortunate' and undoubtedly was. Yes, she was murdered in the street, but at the same time, there is no doubt whatsoever that she was simply walking home minding her own business when Saunderson ran up to her and began strangling her before cutting her throat.

          Thus, a 'prostitute' being killed in the street does not, in itself, prove she was killed while soliciting.

          Ultimately, I'm just questioning whether some of the objections to Chapman 'sleeping rough' in the backyard of Hanbury Street don't also apply to the idea of her engaging in a sexual act in the backyard of Hanbury Street. I'm not particularly keen on either theory.

          Richardson deposed that he shut the front door of No. 29 when he left. I believe him.

          Thus, No. 29 is a house with a closed front door just like any other house lining the street.

          While I am firmly in the camp of those who believe Chapman was murdered at 5.30 a.m., and I want to believe the account given by Elizabeth Long (and give it considerable weight) I have always been uncomfortable with the notion that Chapman, a sickly woman in her mid-40s, was soliciting while the sun is rising, and having found a willing client, is now randomly trying door knobs of closed doors along Hanbury Street-without knowing what she will find, and on a market morning when, as circumstances soon prove, people are already getting up and beginning their work day.

          It could be true, but I find it awkward. At the same time, I can't ignore the accounts of Richardson, Cadoche, and Long.

          Again, strictly from an investigative point of view, if Chapman was indeed conducting 'trade,' doesn't this at least suggest that she had some prior knowledge of the building? Isn't that something that would need to be investigated?

          Which is why I asked whether people believe this was her normal 'patch.' It's an open question; I don't have an answer.

          In the end, we mainly judge the plausibility of various scenarios by our own life experiences.

          One thing I noticed while out all night in an urban setting is one of the biggest pain-in-the-necks is finding a suitable toilet, particularly in the morning hours when the pubs are closed. It is undoubtedly worse for women who face added inconveniences. Another thing is that people sleeping rough tend to get up and move when the sun is coming up...before they are forcibly removed.

          For me, it's not an either/or.

          If push came to shove, I might accept that Chapman went with the man described by Liz Long, but in my mind's eye I sometimes imagine her sleeping rough in a doorway up the street or in one of the courts. She's getting up and is moving along. She sees Richardson quickly enter and leave No. 29, and needing to use the lavatory, simply enters the building and is followed by the Ripper, who is himself trudging along the streets at that lonely, miserable hour. Pure phantasy, I suppose, but I find it more alluring than the alternatives.

          Ditto Polly Nichols. People think it is ridiculous that she is resting in front of the gate, but I'm trying to get my mind around their belief that she is planning to have sex in the middle of the pavement on what is literally the path of a beat constable. It could be true. But why couldn't see simply have been attacked while walking down the street, as we know was the case with the victims attacked by Saunderson and Colocott and Cutbush?

          I guess what I am railing against is Sir Robert Anderson's statement that only a 'certain class of women'--ie., prostitutes--were at risk. I dispute that. In this case, I align with the Rubenholds of the world. I think the murderer would have attacked any woman who was unlucky enough to have been outdoors after dark, or even in the early morning, whether she was soliciting or sleeping rough.
          Hi RJ

          I think we can safely say that Chapman was not murdered while sleeping. If that had have been the case then the killer would have had to know that there was a likelihood of a potential victim to be found in the rear yard, and the point has already been made that there would have been no need for her to sleep outside when she could have slept in the hallway or on the stairs, and I dont think for one minute that she was killed as late as 5am.

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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          • #65
            Hi Trevor,

            Elizabeth Long describes a shabby foreigner over the age of forty.

            Your preferred suspect is a shabby foreigner over the age of forty.

            Enjoy life!

            Cheers.


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            • #66
              I'm sure it's difficult for any of us to get inside the mind of either a prostitute in 1888 or a client, and judge where they would have felt most comfortable.

              But I find it very difficult indeed to believe that a woman would have chosen to sleep in the spot where Annie Chapman's body was found - particularly given that it was a cold night - rather than in the passageway that led to it. Or that if she had chosen to sleep in the back yard, she would have picked a spot right outside the back door, where anyone going into the yard would have been likely to tread on her, rather than a corner of the yard where she would be less likely to be disturbed.

              -Chris Phillips-


              In addition, the woman was ill. Rube's preposterous theory doesn't take that fact into consideration..

              I doubt any of us have ever slept on dirt or concrete when it's cold outside ( sleeping bags don't count). Why on earth would Chapman not risk the hallway, if in fact she did sleep there briefly, and avoid her own common sense and decide for an infinitely worse 'bed' of grass or presumably concrete outside ? What was the worst that could have happened ? Being told to leave ?
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              • #67
                I've been there and done it, Howard, but then, I was probably more reckless than most.

                Here's how it goes.

                By 4 a.m., your hip bone is aching from lying on the hard ground, so after tossing futilely for an hour, you get up and start walking around. Your body hurts. There is also almost always a dip in the temperature at dawn, so you are also freezing your tail off just about the time the sun rises.

                I don't know about anyone else, but I've seen a lot of tramps bumbling along at 5 in the morning. I've seen precisely one prostitute soliciting at that hour.


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                • #68
                  Rajah:

                  I get your drift. I don't know whether you were ill or not or maybe three sheets to the wind, but if there had been any edifice that would have sheltered you from the elements, I'd wager you'd have opted for nodding out there.

                  The point I was trying to make is that she wasn't sleeping when murdered or at least I don't believe it....not for a second. Not with the hallway available....again, in my opinion.

                  I've seen numerous homeless sleeping over subway grates and numerous prostitutes at any hour of the day ( when I moonlighted as a hack in the early '80's in Philly). 3 or 4 AM isn't the usual 'happy hour' for who-ers, but they were there and I done seen 'em.
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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                    Hi Trevor,

                    Elizabeth Long describes a shabby foreigner over the age of forty.

                    Your preferred suspect is a shabby foreigner over the age of forty.

                    Enjoy life!

                    Cheers.

                    Hi RJ
                    Whitechapel was a haven for shabby foreigners !!!!!

                    But I doubt my preferred suspect was out and about at 5am when he probably had to be up for work at the docks !!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk


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                    • #70
                      Whitechapel was a haven for shabby foreigners !!!!!

                      Just as many shabby native born men in Whitechapel. The jails were full of them.

                      The newspapers certainly were.
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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                        Rajah:

                        I get your drift. I don't know whether you were ill or not or maybe three sheets to the wind, but if there had been any edifice that would have sheltered you from the elements, I'd wager you'd have opted for nodding out there.

                        The point I was trying to make is that she wasn't sleeping when murdered or at least I don't believe it....not for a second. Not with the hallway available....again, in my opinion.

                        I've seen numerous homeless sleeping over subway grates and numerous prostitutes at any hour of the day ( when I moonlighted as a hack in the early '80's in Philly). 3 or 4 AM isn't the usual 'happy hour' for who-ers, but they were there and I done seen 'em.
                        Like you, the only point I'm really arguing is that the evidence is strongly against the victims having been killed while sleeping in the places where their bodies were found. I suppose not even Rubenhold is arguing that for Mary Kelly (or is she?).

                        Perhaps they did resort to sleeping rough on other occasions. Perhaps the killer attacked some of the victims when they weren't soliciting. Though obviously prostitutes are very vulnerable to killers who want to get their victims into a private place.



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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
                          I think we can safely say that Chapman was not murdered while sleeping. If that had have been the case then the killer would have had to know that there was a likelihood of a potential victim to be found in the rear yard, and the point has already been made that there would have been no need for her to sleep outside when she could have slept in the hallway or on the stairs, and I dont think for one minute that she was killed as late as 5am.
                          I was going to make the same point about the killer knowing there was likely to be a victim in the yard. Walking the streets looking for victims is one thing, but it's very difficult to imagine the killer going in and out of a lot of buildings on the off chance that he would find a woman sleeping in a back yard.

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                          • #73
                            To reverse the argument, and insist that the victims were soliciting, let me pose a question that I have pondered, but have no violent opinions about, and if anyone wants to jump in, I'd like to hear their thoughts.

                            Is it possible that the infamous East End "knee-trembler" is somewhat overplayed? It made its appearance earlier on in those writing about the case, and author after author kept repeating it until it became part of the mythos.

                            That such things happened can be see in the Tabram murder, where the PC, I think his name was Barnett, encounters a soldier who went "up the alley with a girl."

                            Fair enough; knee-tremblers happened.

                            But when I study London prostitution, much of it was far more nuanced. It was, to perhaps use the wrong word, more social, and less transactional. I am not romanticizing it; I'm trying to look at it objectively.

                            The women wanted a bed for the night, so they shacked up with men in the lodging houses that would accept couples. They also had their weekend warriors, like Ted Stanley. Even Sadler spent a full day-and-a-half with Frances Coles. Thomas Neil Cream toyed around with his victims in Lambeth and made arrangements to have meals, etc.

                            What I suppose I am getting at is that a younger woman could expect to get more from a punter. A meal or two and a lodging-house, and maybe even some conversation and companionship, as we see in Walter's My Secret Life.

                            We don't really know what all went on up those alleys, but what I guess I am getting at is that maybe a younger women could demand--and get--more from a punter than four pence and a trip up the alley, and thus that 'niche' was occupied mainly by the most desperate.

                            I ask this from a sociological view; I'm not passing judgment on any of the victims.

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                            • #74
                              I doubt if very many people--perhaps no one--is interested in my opinion, but I'd like to explain why I have some begrudging sympathy for Rubenhold's ideas. Even though I don't believe she is technically right, I think she might be psychologically right.

                              I suspect that the reason the academics are more focused on the victims being poverty stricken slum dwellers, as opposed to 'sex workers,' is because they instinctively see crimes of this sort as having an important social component, rather than just the random acts of a sexual pervert. The Ripper is not, after all, killing respectable ladies in Mayfair.

                              When Tom Cullen wrote about the Ripper in the 1960s, he thought along these same lines. His suspect (Druitt) was a middle-class barrister living in Blackheath, and Cullen didn't ignore the possibility that the killer had a psychological reason for specifically targeting the bottom of the barrel--those poor souls stuck living in the East End. Cullen didn't deny the sexual nature of the crimes, but he also believed the victim's economic class was relevant. He couldn't fully explain himself, perhaps, but he felt it.

                              But the times have changed, and the Freudians and the F.B.I. profilers have won the field, and the Cullen-types are few and far between. The Ripper is a sexual pervert, plain and simple--a Lechmere, a Kosminski, a Hutchinson, or take your pick, who gets sexual gratification out of killing women. The 'class' of the victim no longer matters, except in so far as these are the only women who will go with him into a dark alley. It is no deeper than that, so the blather of the social scientists do not concern us.

                              The thing is, I am not as convinced as everyone else is that the Cullen/Hainsworth/and the 'academic' types are barking up the wrong tree. I am not arguing that the victim's weren't soliciting, but I do wonder if it is accurate to assume that their ragged homelessness is irrelevant to the psychology of the murderer. I think there is more going on psychologically than the mere killing of 'sex' objects, and, like Robert Linford used to argue, I am highly skeptical that the victims were even seen as 'sex object' at all.

                              So in that respect, I do have some sympathy for the Rubenholds of the world, even if she is not entirely aware of where her thinking is really headed. Of course, if you're convinced the Ripper is a local man like Lechmere, motivated by sexual frenzy, then you won't agree with me.

                              I hope that begins to explain my thinking.








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                              • #75
                                May be just a case of the killer being of or near the same social class as his victims.
                                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."

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