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  • Jack of Sound Mind?

    Hi All,

    Because so much ill-informed rubbish has been spouted about the psychopathy of Jack the Ripper, I don't know if this is the right place for the following. All I know is that I found this newspaper cutting a breath of fresh air.

    It's from the Galveston Daily News, 15th December 1888—

    http://i908.photobucket.com/albums/a...520DEC2018.jpg


    "The chief source of error in the investigation of lunacy is a tendency of medical experts to infer disease from the nature of the crime itself. The Whitechapel murderer has not been caught, and his condition can not therefore be diagnosed."

    Wise words.

    Regards,

    Simon

  • #2
    "of Sound mind" - Hmmmmm...

    Does he mean his outward appearance was of a sane person - ie not an obvious raving lunatic, or, and I am very interested in this aspect, was he imagining a sane man who dweelled on murder, cruelty and "barbarism"?

    Interesting stuff about the Ripper's skills and the possibility of an international killer

    Very nice post Simon

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Nemo,

      Good to hear from you.

      I am to psychology what Michaelangelo was to spot-welding, so I have no idea about what these learned men may have truly meant.

      I can only repeat their words—

      "The chief source of error in the investigation of lunacy is a tendency of medical experts to infer disease from the nature of the crime itself. The Whitechapel murderer has not been caught, and his condition can not therefore be diagnosed."

      So let's all stop trying to psychoanalyze Jack, a person who never existed in the first place.

      Regards,

      Simon

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Simon,

        As someone who often spouts and discusses said rubbish, I feel compelled to respond. Firstly, can it be noted that the wise words do not come from a Psychologist or Psychiatrist but from a lawyer.

        My main response is: surely we can theorise? Yes we may never know for certain, but we can look at the known facts and apply them to psychological conditions to see if it's possible Jack fits into these categories. Examine the what if, but with care.

        To speak personally, in any article or post when I attempt to analyse the Ripper, I always make it quite clear that it is just the opinion of an aspiring student, and that nothing should be taken as gospel as we may never know the truth.
        Jon

        "It is far more comfortable to point a finger and declare someone a devil, than to call upon your imagination to try to understand their world."


        http://www.jlrees.co.uk



        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Big Jon View Post
          My main response is: surely we can theorise? Yes we may never know for certain, but we can look at the known facts and apply them to psychological conditions to see if it's possible Jack fits into these categories. Examine the what if, but with care.
          True, Jon, but most people don't know what an appropriate use of psychology would entail. The fundamental problem of "analysing at a distance" is that we'll never be able to get Jack on the couch, so such efforts are at best an interesting diversion. Trouble is, when misapplied, it can become a means of giving a dodgy theory a false veneer of intellectual integrity.

          Comment


          • #6
            A valid point Sam, but there are other aspects of the case that it applies to (it can be argued that even discussing his identity can be at best an intellectual diversion), and at the end of the day I think discussions about any mental condition Jack might have had are a lot more valid than a lot of other things that get discussed (the posts debating what Jack had for breakfast which pop up on Casebook immediately jump to mind).
            Jon

            "It is far more comfortable to point a finger and declare someone a devil, than to call upon your imagination to try to understand their world."


            http://www.jlrees.co.uk



            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Big Jon View Post
              at the end of the day I think discussions about any mental condition Jack might have had are a lot more valid than a lot of other things that get discussed (the posts debating what Jack had for breakfast which pop up on Casebook immediately jump to mind).
              Unfortunately, Jon, unless one truly understands mental conditions and/or psychology, such discussions are often about as much use as those about Jack's breakfast habits. That aside, my real beef is with non-psychologists flogging theories to lay-people on the basis of a superficial understanding of what is a complex, multi-faceted and - by its very nature - abstruse subject.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                That aside, my real beef is with lay-people flogging theories to other lay-people on the basis of a superficial understanding of what is a complex, multi-faceted and - by its very nature - abstract subject.
                If we're talking about real beefs with lay people - mine is with people using terms such as psychopath to basically mean "someone who kills someone else".
                Jon

                "It is far more comfortable to point a finger and declare someone a devil, than to call upon your imagination to try to understand their world."


                http://www.jlrees.co.uk



                Comment


                • #9
                  Jon:

                  He had tarts for supper, I can tell you that much.

                  Anyone that can stick his hand inside another person's intestines, deal with the dreadful odors, and then walk away without flinching...and do it more than once... is frigging nuts and you don't need a PhD to figure that out.

                  Whether he was psychotic or psychopathic, to me, is one of the only two questions I see in this matter... the other being how anyone of us can consider that the acts of the Ripper...whether for some reason other than a sexually based motive...was playing with a full deck.

                  I'm curious as to whether any of us who dispute the sanity of the Ripper when we look at his actions also feel that outside of mutilating women on the street, that he had no other mental issues.
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                  • #10
                    Sam makes a really valid point Jon that you're missing- I found a ludicrous thread on here the other night where someone was trying to determine whether Charles Manson was sane or insane. I said, "Is there anyone here who is actually qualifed to comment on this?" No takers as yet.
                    There's huge amounts of speculative guff on these boards and others, being farted out by people who haven't necessarilly mastered the English language yet, let alone whatever particular discipline is required to have a meaningful dialogue on a subject.
                    For now Jon, all you're doing is saying, "Well if people can speculate on what Jack had for breakfast, I have every right to speculate to." But that's not an argument, that's a bit of a whinge if you don't mind me saying.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Stephen:

                      I do see Sam's point and I agree with what he is saying. I just happened to share a similar problem I see with the whole discussion as the one he has.

                      The same can also be said with any discussions had on the physiology of the crimes because (as far as I'm aware) we don't have anyone on these boards with advanced training in pathology.

                      How:

                      I don't think he would have had any observable mental issues, but beyond that - who knows!
                      Jon

                      "It is far more comfortable to point a finger and declare someone a devil, than to call upon your imagination to try to understand their world."


                      http://www.jlrees.co.uk



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dear Stephen;
                        As Manson himself said in 1970 when asked if he was insane, he responded rather sanely, "Thats relative".
                        I would think Manson is warped, capable of murder ( He has one under his belt) , capable of manipulating lazy, impressionable, bourgeois kids with hippie-pansy bullshit masking devilish intentions...and completely aware of what he is,did, and can do.
                        No. I don't see him as insane. Just very fa-hucked up in the head...
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                        • #13
                          I'd run with that assessment as well

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                          • #14
                            Jon:

                            Observable or otherwise, anyone who could commit murders like that even for some cause ( Fenians, religious nuts, etc..) other than for himself would have other issues other than his inclination to remove women's internal organs.

                            He could mask them, certainly. He would still have them.
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                            • #15
                              Stephen:

                              Real quick and not real germane to this thread....but you made me think of phone sex.

                              If I told you that you could make a lot of money by virtue of getting other people to call you on their phone, masturbate like a maniac in their homes and pay you via credit card as they smacked their schwantzstuka around.... you would think I was kidding or crazy

                              ....until you realized I am referring to the phone sex fad of the late 1980's ( Not to tell tales out of class....but Tim Mosley must have paid close to $20,000 for all his phone sessions or so he claims...) .....where some people racked up some serious dosh from that sort of behavior.


                              So yeah, old Charley was right....sanity is relative.
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