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From Hell: Is IT important only for the kidney?

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  • David Jackson
    replied
    An interesting thing that came, tangentially, from what Sam sent me there was that it had never occurred to me to check the date 'From Hell' was sent.

    The doctors seemed to think the kidney was preserved for about 10 days before it was sent.

    Thinking about it, while it's nothing huge, I think it supports the veracity of the letter and kidney being genuine a little.

    The idea that it was a hoax/prank from a medical student or similar is viable, but if it's true that it had been preserved for around 10 days, it makes the window of opportunity to perpetrate it a bit smaller. I don't know if i'm explaining this well, but it would have to be a fresh kidney around the time of the murder.

    I'm sure there were plenty of kidney samples available, but i'm not sure how frequently fresh samples were available.

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  • David Jackson
    replied
    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
    That little nugget of info only comes down to us via secondary and, in my opinion, rather questionable sources, David. In some contemporary accounts, it was claimed that it was the "ginny" kidney of a 45 year-old woman... which is dubious to say the least. The consumption of gin doesn't alter the appearance of a kidney, and you really can't tell a person's age to any degree of precision, even with an intact specimen. Determining the person's sex would have been nigh-on impossible, as male and female kidneys vary widely in size, and there's a degree of overlap: some male kidneys are smaller than women's, and some women's are larger than the typical male's. Furthermore, chromosomal sex typing wouldn't be discovered for almost 20 years, so we can rule out tests for any "XX" chromosomes present in the cells. Aside from questionable, and sometimes conflicting, contemporary accounts, we have the the hugely unreliable memoirs of Major Henry Smith, writing many years later, and clearly intent on puffing up his involvement in the case.

    There were even contemporary experts who cast serious doubt on whether the kidney was even human, as in this report from 20th October 1888: http://www.casebook.org/press_report.../18881020.html
    Thanks for that, it certainly adds a bit of doubt to my mind, i'll grant you that.

    I would say that I still believe it to be genuine, but that's dulled it a bit.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Dave:
    In my haste to post that, I should have said recent immigrant Jews ( Like Kozminski ) not assimilated Jews like Pizer.

    Pizer, theoretically, could have written the From Hell letter being more attuned to British culture than a recent immigrant would have been.

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  • David Jackson
    replied
    Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
    Stephen, all

    Just a thought but if you feel From Hell is legitimate ( I'm not arguing whether it is or isn't).....then you probably don't feel a Jewish/Continental man was the killer, correct ?
    Well i'm about 90% on it being legit, but my top two suspects (currently) are Cohen and Levy so ... i'm not sure haha.

    I know it comes across as more colloquial, but I don't think that means much necessarily - if the killer didn't speak English as his first language, he would have a lot of poor English and probably pick up colloquialisms too.

    I do see the point though.

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  • Sam Flynn
    replied
    Originally posted by David Jackson View Post
    Didn't at least two doctors (Brown and Openshaw) say it was human after examining it?
    That little nugget of info only comes down to us via secondary and, in my opinion, rather questionable sources, David. In some contemporary accounts, it was claimed that it was the "ginny" kidney of a 45 year-old woman... which is dubious to say the least. The consumption of gin doesn't alter the appearance of a kidney, and you really can't tell a person's age to any degree of precision, even with an intact specimen. Determining the person's sex would have been nigh-on impossible, as male and female kidneys vary widely in size, and there's a degree of overlap: some male kidneys are smaller than women's, and some women's are larger than the typical male's. Furthermore, chromosomal sex typing wouldn't be discovered for almost 20 years, so we can rule out tests for any "XX" chromosomes present in the cells. Aside from questionable, and sometimes conflicting, contemporary accounts, we have the the hugely unreliable memoirs of Major Henry Smith, writing many years later, and clearly intent on puffing up his involvement in the case.

    There were even contemporary experts who cast serious doubt on whether the kidney was even human, as in this report from 20th October 1888: http://www.casebook.org/press_report.../18881020.html

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Stephen, all

    Just a thought but if you feel From Hell is legitimate ( I'm not arguing whether it is or isn't).....then you probably don't feel a Jewish/Continental man was the killer, correct ?

    I had a problem with the GSG and a preferred suspect for a while which is like the above.
    I don't think a seaman would have etched the graffiti, although a murderous seaman would be at the top of my suspect list...yet I'm of the opinion the graffiti is legit. In short, I can't have them both ( in my mind ) but I think they are both are.

    Anyone else like that ?
    Perplexed In Pennsylvania

    Leave a comment:


  • Stephen Collyer
    replied
    Forget the kidney. To me that's a sideshow. The things that give me the creeps about From Hell are the calm matter of factness of it & also the psychological mess that is the handwriting. No camp boastfulness, no neat & tidy copperplate.
    From a less credible point of view, the whole knif & whil misspellings seem very contrived.
    I still think that if any correspondence was sent from JTR during that Autumn the From Hell is it.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Jackson
    replied
    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
    To my mind, there's no particularly strong evidence that it was.
    Didn't at least two doctors (Brown and Openshaw) say it was human after examining it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sam Flynn
    replied
    Originally posted by David Jackson View Post
    The main reason for this is that the kidney, from everything i've heard at least, was human. Is there any evidence against that?
    To my mind, there's no particularly strong evidence that it was.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Jackson
    replied
    Hi all.

    Because I was mostly on the Eddowes trail today I was also thinking about this letter, which i've always been relatively happy as being genuine.

    The main reason for this is that the kidney, from everything i've heard at least, was human. Is there any evidence against that?

    If not, I think it's another case of not seeing the wood for the trees.

    If the kidney was human, I think it hugely unbelievable that the letter wasn't sent by the killer, and that's even before considering that Eddowes' kidney (or part of) was missing and that it had signs of a condition she had.

    I know many people had the condition she reportedly have, but how many people would have a human kidney hanging around to use in this letter?

    So to answer the initial point of this thread, yes, I think the kidney is central to the letter, though some of the details are certainly interesting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Tom:

    First of all....thats an interesting idea you have about how similar the surnames are. You've got that eye for detail,dude.

    Second of all....by all means...send the MacLeod pdf to me or if you wish,put it up here when you have the opportunity. Thats a nice gesture,Tom.

    Thirdly....I found two references in the first edition ( In retrospect,I did read this before.....but simply forgot it.) of The Complete by Mr.Rumbelow in regard to the "handwriting" that Joltin' Joseph Chetcuti mentioned.

    The first is on page 84 and the second is on page 117.

    Should anyone wish me to post the passage(s),let me know,since this may not be found in editions other than the first one by DR.

    Dear CG:

    I owe you a beer or two, sor. Thanks for reminding me of Bachert ( or as Rumbelow spelled him, Backert)....

    I was going to ask people about what Bachert is alleged to have said to police officials...ah,let me set a thread up for that tonight. But thanks C.G.

    Yes,at least to me Bachert looks similar to Stephenson in how he might have made some effort to insinuate himself into the Case.

    Dear Joe:

    No need to go check for those dates,buddy. We got 'em. Thanks for the effort in explaining where it came from. I do have a first edition Rumbelow.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tom_Wescott
    replied
    Hey, I just remembered I have the full text of the McLeod article on PDF if anybody wants it.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

    Leave a comment:


  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Joe, what's that line from Emo Phillips? "When I was a little boy my parents kept telling me 'Don't open the cellar door.' It was five years before I saw the sun."

    Leave a comment:


  • Joe Chetcuti
    Guest replied
    Hello Howard,

    Many years ago I photo-copied those words from Macleod out of a Ripper book, but I neglected to write down the name of the book. What a mistake that ended up being!

    Doggone it, Robert and I were banging our heads in the wall last summer looking for the book that contained these exact Macleod quotes. Do you remember what a pain in the neck that was, Robert? Man, we'd find bits and pieces of those quotes from other Ripper books, but it just wasn't the complete quotes that I had once photo-copied.

    Macleod originally published his words in a periodical called The Criminologist during August 1968. I remember Stephen Ryder telling me that he had a copy of that Criminologist issue in his collection, but I was still determined to find the Ripper book that contained Macleod's words.

    At this point I called on the services of secret agent Judith Stock. She is the one person who knows everything about Ripper literature. Of course she found it instantly! Judith provided me the name of the book, its edition, the page number, and the whole works. Macleod's quotes had come from Mr. Rumbellow's book.

    It's funny. I've now placed all my pre-2007 Ripper material in my cellar, and I'm almost afraid to go down there. I picture myself getting swallowed by a hungry mountain of paperwork.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tom_Wescott
    replied
    Chris,

    Le Grand and Batchelor only made the one public appearance and that was following the double event. Bachert really didn't become a media darling until much later. I agree that Bachert is a long shot behind James Hall as a contender for Batchelorhood, but the names are quite similar and there's something about Le Grand and Bachert the suggests a connection.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

    Leave a comment:

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