No announcement yet.

5 Questions for Robert McLaughlin

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 5 Questions for Robert McLaughlin

    Robert McLaughlin kindly submitted to some questions regarding his book...First JTR Photographs....for the Forums.

    1. How long did it take for you to create your book and when did you start on it?

    I was doing research for a different topic at the beginning of 2002 when I stumbled across a copy of Lacassagne's Vacher l'Eventreur et les crimes sadiques. Unfortunately, in 2003 I leaked what I was doing, thinking it would quickly be finished. Big mistake!!! Thankfully, readers have been patient, and the response has been very positive since publication.

    2. What if anything was new and exciting in your rese
    arch into the book that you had been unaware of before starting First JTR Photographs ?

    Can you imagine: as Macnaghten was penning his memoranda in 1894, a young doctor named André Lamoureux was publishing the famous photograph of Mary Kelly in situ for the first time in De l'Éventration au point de vue médico-légal, a full five years before Lacassagne did in 1899. I must admit, most everything has been new and exciting while researching this book. The people involved are all on the fringes of the Ripper case. It took a long time to find out about them - and there is still so much to learn. It's good for the case that more people will now be able to see the pictures of Eddowes and Kelly reproduced in Lacassagne and Lamoureux, and that they will conveniently have one book that has all of the known victim photographs together uncropped. The "new" French ones , especially the one of Eddowes, are sure to create much debate.

    3.When did you first find out about Joseph Martin ? Was it during the making of First JTR Photographs?

    It was very early on. I had been aware for quite some time that Louis Gumprecht's photographic stamp was on the back of both Martha Tabram and Frances Coles' mortuary pictures. Like most people I was wrong about him photographing the Whitechapel victims. Adrian Phypers (aka Viper) was researching the photographers in an article that would eventually be published in Ripper Notes, 'Who Was the Mortuary Photographer?' (October 2002) He had translated articles about Joseph Martin, including a long one in the E.L.A., and he kindly shared all of his research material with me prior to it being published. Adrian also continued to help me with my research until his untimely death. He always thought the area of the photograhers in the Whitechapel case was an under explored one.

    4. You maintain that the "F M" on the wall in Farson's,Knight's,and Harrison's books are actually anomalies attributable to the changes which occur in a photograph being reproduced from some source other than the original negative. Do you or did you ever feel that this "F M" may have been intentionally highlighted, regardless of the slight degeneration of the photo used in the three aforementioned books ? In other words, any chance of hanky-panky ?

    C'mon, How, that's a loaded question. Taking a photograph through the process of setting it for a book changes it by adding "noise." What we end up interpreting is often not there. I'll repeat the quote I use at the beginning of chapter 7, as it aptly describes how we perceive this matter:

    5. If you had to make a choice...which one person would you wager on being the source for the London-to-Lyon photograph exchange ?

    So many people had copies of the victim photos in London that we have a long list of suspects. I don't even mention them all in the final chapter. What I did - and am still doing - was to work backwards from Lyon. Find out who received the photos in Lyon and then it becomes possible to identify who in London passed them on. I have been trying unsuccessfully for the last two years to locate the original photographs in France. I have found some other interesting things along the way, though. Right now, Dr. Henry Coutagne is the man most likely to have acquired the photographs of Eddowes and Kelly. He spoke English, traveled widely, and had a tremendous medical reputation. But until the photographs can be linked to him, or the original copies are found, we won't know for sure.

    Thanks very much for the responses,Bob !