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Jack the Deviant?

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  • Jack the Deviant?

    Excerpted from Murder Most Foul:

    ¡§The strangest thing about sexual desire is that, left unsatisfied, it can completely alter its nature, as wine becomes vinegar.¡¨
    - Donald Rumbelow9

    One of the most popular motives attributed to the Ripper was, and is, that of sexual deviance. Both paragons and pedestrians of Ripperology subscribe to this particular ¡¥sexual deviant¡¦ theory, to the apparent exclusion of all other possible theories that involve alternative motives or reasons, as we see here:

    "Anything proposing any Ripperian motive far removed from demented sexual rage is moonshine."
    ¡V Martin Fido10

    ¡§There can be no doubt whatever that the Ripper murders were sexually motivated. The four known Whitechapel victims were all female and all prostitutes. Each had her throat cut (throat injuries are common in sexual murders) and suffered sharp force mutilation to the erogenous zones. It can be stated with absolute certainty that Jack the Ripper was a sadosexual serialist.¡¨
    - Garry Wroe10

    While the probability is indeed great and such attitudes and convictions may eventually be justified, one still cannot help but remember the words of Conan Doyle¡¦s fictional period detective when reading such as this:

    ¡§Some of us are a little too much inclined to be cock-sure.¡¨
    - Inspector Lestrade4

    However, there is much evidence from the time to support this premise, and, sadly, much that has become evident in the time since, concerning sexually-deviant serial killers. The following examples of sexual deviance as a motive for serial killing are offered from many such:

    ¡§Killing for killing¡¦s sake is an apparently motiveless motive. Yet this class is a wide and varied field, within which it is possible to distinguish two divisions. The first division encompasses those murders where the satisfaction of lust is in the actual killing, without actual sexual connection with the victim. The second division encompasses those murders committed at the same time or directly after the sexual act, as part of the sexual gratification.¡¨6

    ¡§Very likely the murderous act and subsequent mutilation of the corpse were equivalents for the sexual act.¡¨18

    ¡§Necrophilia is extremely rare and should be borne in mind whenever a sadistic murder has occurred and portions of the body are missing.¡¨14

    ¡§When the police later searched his apartment, they found several bottles of formalin under his bed, and in them were the sexual organs and parts of several women, dissected with varying degrees of surgical finesse.¡¨17

    It cannot be doubted that a great number of so-called lust murders depend upon a combination of excessive and perverted desire. As a result of this perverse colouring of the feelings, further acts of bestiality with the corpse may result - e.g., cutting it up and wallowing in the intestines. The case of Andreas Bichel points to this possibility. He killed and dissected ravished girls. With reference to one of his victims, at his examination he expressed himself as follows: "I opened her breast and with a knife cut through the fleshy parts of the body. Then I arranged the body as a butcher does beef, and hacked it with an axe into pieces of a size to fit the hole which I had dug up in the mountain for burying it. I may say that while opening the body I was so greedy that I trembled, and could have cut out a piece and eaten it."18

    ¡§Eating human flesh gave Dahmer an erection. Before any clean up began, Dahmer reached for his Polaroid to capture the entire experience so that he could remember each and every murder. Then he cut open their torsos. He was fascinated by the color of the viscera and sexually aroused by the heat that the freshly-killed body would give off. Finally, he would dismember the man, photographing each stage of the process for future viewing pleasure. Some parts of the bodies he chose to keep as trophies, frequently the genitals and head.¡¨19

    Dahmer is an unusual serial killer. In Dahmer's case, everything is post-mortem... all of his 'fun' began after the victims died... He led a rich fantasy life that focused on having complete control over people... That fantasy life, mixed with hatred, perhaps hatred of himself which is being projected into his victims. If he at all felt uncomfortable about his own sexual orientation, it is very easy to see it projected into these victims and punishing them indirectly to punish himself."19

    For some serial killers driven by sexual deviance, the acts of killing and genital mutilation seem to suffice, as orgasm is reached either during the murder or during the subsequent mutilation. Others may then abstract various body organs with which to masturbate at leisure, if they are not taken purely as ¡¥trophies¡¦. The landmark reference on sexual deviance is Psychopathia Sexualis18, and contained therein are chronicled detailed analytical accounts on virtually every imaginable sexual perversion, criminal and otherwise. The Ripper, naturally, finds prominent mention in such a reference work, as we see here:
    ¡§In Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ¡§random violence replaces the sexual drive" and Stevenson's story is actually about sexuality. Jekyll and Hyde came out in the same year as the first edition of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis (1886) and argues that the new field of sexology that Krafft-Ebing's text started is akin to Stevenson's text because it "begins with and from perversions. What it studies is the pathology of the sexual, and a significant area of attention is then the criminal-sexual." Krafft-Ebing cites the "Jack the Ripper" case as an example of lust-murder."23

    Although Psychopathia Sexualis was remarkable for its time, it has become dated, and does not include more modern theory, data, and observations, as, again, the concept of a serial killer was then unknown by its author. Today, serial killers driven by sexual deviance are summarized simply as follows:
    PROCESS-FOCUSED (slow kill) THE LUST-ORIENTED HEDONIST - associates sexual pleasure with murder; sex while killing and necrophilia are eroticized experiences.
    - Philip C. Dowe10

    Conclusion ¡V if the Ripper were a sexual deviant, he would not have hesitated to kill, probably being limited only by time. His other motives for mutilation and leaving of the victims in public could have been as follows:
    „h Jack the Bogeyman
    „h Jack the Wanker
    „h Jack the Jolly Man
    „h Jack the Human-being Stalker
    „h Jack the Egotist
    „h Jack the Thrill-seeker
    „h Jack the Blind Man

    Public Display

    „h Jack the Practical Man
    „h Jack the Bogeyman
    „h Jack the Egotist
    „h Jack the Obsessed
    „h Jack the Thrill-seeker
    „h Jack the Anarchist
    „h Jack the Litterbug

    His leaving of the victims in public could also be attributed to impatience, as he then would either be experiencing his own sort of post-coital bliss, or he would be in a tremendous hurry to get to a safe location and masturbate before the ¡¥thrill¡¦ of the kill wore off. It may be equally likely that a ¡¥deviant¡¦ would also derive some measure of sardonic ¡V and sexual - pleasure by contemplating the effect that sight of the grossly mutilated remains would have on their discoverer and on ¡¥proper¡¦ Victorian society.


    1. Badal, James In the Wake of the Butcher

    2. Bloch, Robert Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper

    3. Crime SuspenStories, The Giggling Killer
    EC Publications

    4. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan The Complete Sherlock Holmes
    5. Futrelle, Jacques The Thinking Machine
    6. Jesse, F. Tennyson Murder and its Motives
    7. King, C. Daly The Curious Mr. Tarrant
    8. Maples, William Dead Men Do Tell Tales
    9. Rumbelow, Donald The Complete Jack the Ripper
    10. Ryder, Stephen
    11. Scott, George A History of Torture
    12. Sledge, Eugene With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
    13. Smithsonian Magazine, The Shadow of a Gunman from World War II
    September 1993

    14. Spitz. Werner, Medicolegal Investigation of Death, Second
    and Fisher, Russell Edition

    15. Styron William The Confessions of Nat Turner

    16. Sugden, Philip The Complete History of Jack the Ripper

    17. Ubelaker, Douglas Bones: A Forensic Detective’s Casebook

    18. von Krafft-Ebing, Richard Psychopathia Sexualis













  • #2
    Originally posted by WTM View Post

    "Anything proposing any Ripperian motive far removed from demented sexual rage is moonshine."
    ¡V Martin Fido10
    I've always thought this to be true.