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  • The Vivisectionists...

    Hi all

    I thought I'd drop a few links in here for you to peruse...

    Anti-vivisectionism was associated with the feminist cause. A success by the feminist movement which may have affected the psyche of the Ripper may have been the repeal of the Contagious diseases act in 1886 (see links below)

    The new fangled medical contraptions prevalent in the LVP, especially gynaecological examination tables with their straps etc were particularly abhorred by women. Along with sadistic pornography, flagellation and the like, it encouraged women to associate their moral and legal position in the LVP with that of the animals strapped down and "tortured" in the name of vivisection

    Vivisection encompassed every experiment on animals at the time. Vaccinations were held up as human vivisection experiments and greatly opposed. On a protest march against vaccination in February 1888, a banner was used which depicted a doctor depicted as a sadist with many knives standing over his patient

    Here are some relevant links which I will comment on at a later date...

    Parliamentary acts March 1888

    Jenner appeal for pro-vivisection lobby April 1888

    The vivisection bill April 1888

    Lewis Carroll-Hunting of the Snark as an antivivisection text;col1

    Vivisection,philosophy, feminism, female castration etc

    Repeal of Contagious diseases act - feminism and prostitution

    Edmund Gurney - Tertium Quid - On pain & anaesthetics

    Victorian taxidermy and Sadistic pornography

    Motives for Vivisection and Jack the Ripper

    Claude Bernard publication, father of vivisection speaks

    Dracula image used by anti-vaccinators

    Darwin on vivisection

    General vivisection text explaining the action of curare and chloroform

  • #2
    Nice list Nemo..

    That book by Gurney is probably one of his last works...

    Thanks for sharing buddy.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by How Brown View Post
      Nice list Nemo..

      That book by Gurney is probably one of his last works...

      Thanks for sharing buddy.

      Edmund Gurney (1847-1888)

      Elementary, Howard, since it was published the year before he died. You are a regular Sherlock Holmes.

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      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
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      • #4
        Hi Nemo,
        I just read your post on the double eventing thread about vivisection and the torso's. I'm not sure what you are asking me yet, I hope I'm on the right thread as I noticed there was another that mentioned vivisection too.
        Anway, I'll have a read through those thinks you posted first.


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply Debra

          I was wondering if you would consider whether any of the torso victims could have been used as experimental subjects for anatomists or even vivisectionists (cutting up or experimenting on - while alive)

          I'm not sure myself what would be evidence of this

          Most anatomy and vivisection dissects the body along it's natural lines

          Those vivisection links are only preliminary ones to introduce the subject

          I have seen descriptions of experiments such as baking or boiling alive, severing or dissecting out nerves, opening the abdomen to observe organs and intestines at work, electrocution etc as well as simple removal of limbs and the like

          I know you've mentioned cloth "plugs" before - were any of these (apologies for the crudeness) in the anus? (to me this may indicate the victim was alive before "torture" commenced - as in when a convict about to be electrocuted is plugged in the anus)

          I'm a lowly amateur with miniscule knowledge regarding this aspect, and I'm sure you would have researched the anatomists and vivisectionists for your book - you may have come across civilians who for years were carrying out vivisection experiments and charging money to watch (illegal since 1876). I would imagine these illegal experiments attracted a very secretive clientele and I can't believe they stopped just because the law changed

          Watching animals being goaded in the Tower zoo was very popular too

          In those links you may also see a connection between mutilation / sadism / torture that was prevalent in the LVP (possibly Satanism chucked in the mix as well) especially the idea of women being strapped down and flagellated among other things, totally pliant victims for their male masters

          Was there any evidence of bondage before death on the torsos?

          So you get the general idea - do you think any of this may be connected with any of the torsos? - remember that making a corpse grimace by galvanism was practiced and that any part of the body that would show that such a thing had occured (ie holes where the electrodes were inserted) may have been destroyed, while the rest of the body was disposed of

          Also, Dracula was used as a metaphor by anti-vaccination groups, whereas Frankenstein would be more appropriate for the anatomists/vivisectionists and I think a hand from one of the torsos was found in Percey Shelley's son's garden (I think it was his son)

          Apologies for being vague and posing so many questions

          Any response would be greatly appreciated


          • #6
            Wow, Nemo, there's certainly a lot to consider there! I see you've been giving it a lot of thought. Let me digest all this and I'll certainly try and make some comment on your ideas if I can.
            Vivisection is something I've come across mentioned in the Whitechapel murders, I think there was an early theory about Annie chapman concerning vivisection at one point wasn't there? And I've read the views of people like Sir William Gull on pro vivisection, but to be honest, I probably haven't given it much thought concerning the torso murders....

            Regarding your comments about 'plugging' which occured in the Elizabeth Jackson murder, (which was the anus, to be equally crude) I find your information there very interesting indeed.

            I'll definitely get back to you on this Nemo, and thanks for posting your thoughts.


            • #7
              Hi Debra

              Thanks very much for the reply and contemplating the premise

              Vivisection was mentioned a number of times throughout the case.

              Observing whimpering or even screaming animals with open wounds and carrying out experiments such as pouring boiling water into the stomach etc was purported to produce in the observer a cruel and inhuman coldness.

              Feminists used this as a metaphor for the way they were treated in general (as women) but I haven't found any major feminist work describing the Ripper's work as a culmination of man's cruelty to women - though I expect to do so

              Feminists were reported as trying to influence hospitals where they knew vivisection was carried out by writing a number of letters to the hospital pretending to be rich women about to make substantial cash donations and then withdrawing the offer when they supposedly realised about the vivisection

              Actually, it appears to me that vaccination was the main point of contention as it was seen as an extension of vivisection that had moved on to experimenting with humans, doctors growing and nurturing filth and disease (inoculations of bacteria and the like) in the women and children

              I've come across patients who died and were passed to the anatomists without the family's permission, inoculation / vaccination without consent, the administering of alcohol to a 10 year old boy to observe temperature changes in his body and other similar cases

              I think the general idea was that doctors thought themselves omnipotent and were not held accountable for their actions, often acting on just a whim

              Entry into a hospital during this period of time must have been a very daunting prospect really. It reminds me of Green Solient a bit - lol


              • #8
                A decade after the WM, the publication, "The Abolitionist" appeared and was brought about by none other than....drum roll.... Mabel Collins. It was a cornerstone of the British vivisectionist movement for a half century. This as well as the following may be found in Kim Farnell's biography of Collins, Mystical Vampire, and on the internet.

                Even Queen Vicky was concerned with vivisectionists. One other tidbit to share here is the role of the vivisectionist movement to eliminate small pox vaccinations in Britain. That began in the 1850's and is worth looking into. Thousands died as a result of recieving a vaccination and many lost their homes and went to jail for resisting efforts to have themselves and their children vaccinated. Sort of like what happened to people in the resistance movement against forced busing to achieve integration in schools here in the USA.

                By the way, is there a big pox ? : )
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                • #9
                  Thanks for that Howard

                  Anna Kingsford seems to be the main Theosophist anti-vivisectionist as far as I can make out


                  • #10
                    I forgot to update you on a couple of things from Man; A Forgotten History - a major Theosophist publication second edition 1887

                    (I'm writing from memory now but I can fish the book out if anyone requires direct references)

                    Remember these guys and gals believe in magic and the physical presence of advanced spiritual beings on the Earth - mahatmas

                    There are good and bad people - you know the mahatmas by their purity and wisdom, and you know the bad people by their lot in life

                    The East End was full of people who were evil and working against mankind as shown by their circumstances

                    By that token, the haggard prostitutes must have been considered pretty evil

                    It was up to the mahatmas to defeat these evil people physically and spiritually

                    Coupled with this is the Theosophist belief that the spirit remains in the body till at least when the body is cold

                    An example was given of spiritualists contacting a spirit whom remembered the pain of it's autopsy

                    The other minor point I noticed in this book was a comment on meditation and words that produce peace and benevolence in the mind

                    The word was the well known "Aum" to be repeated during contemplation

                    The opposite vocal sound that produces dischord and chaos is "Ha!"


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                      By the way, is there a big pox ? : )
                      Syphilis - once known as "the Great Pox"; "great" as in "big", that is, as opposed to "super-duper". The "small" in smallpox was used to distinguish between the two.


                      • #12
                        I'd just like to point out to Debra that anal (and vaginal) plugging was common in hanging executions and probably anything involving certain tortures or "unusual punishments"

                        Sorry it's not a nice subject - lol


                        • #13
                          I'd just like to point out to Debra that anal (and vaginal) plugging was common in hanging executions and probably anything involving certain tortures or "unusual punishments"

                          Sorry it's not a nice subject - lol

                          You definitely made Tim Mosley get chills, let me tell you Nemo.

                          Thats one reason I would object to being lynched ( Not hung...I'd be happy to be considered as much )...that plugging thing. I'm really leery about anything within 5 feet of the backside. Its my own Area 51.


                          Then why do they call 'em Chicken pox ? Is it because those pox are scared of something ?
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nemo View Post
                            I'd just like to point out to Debra that anal (and vaginal) plugging was common in hanging executions and probably anything involving certain tortures or "unusual punishments"

                            Sorry it's not a nice subject - lol
                            Thanks for pointing that out Nemo!! ...I think..
                            Someone once posted on casebook that Arthur Shawcross used this technique and I sat through the whole documentary on his crimes to find nothing mentioned about it.
                            It was used in Egyptian mummification and sailors used it too...and abortion practices...I wonder which would most apply to Elizabeth Jackson? 7 months pregnant and said to be wanting to 'shunt' the child?

                            I used to think abortion was a cop out excuse for this girls death and we were all jumping to conclusions just because she was pregnant and shortchanging her...just like the LVP doctors, but (until I get to read more on vivisection) I think it makes sense.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nemo View Post
                              I'd just like to point out to Debra that anal (and vaginal) plugging was common in hanging executions
                              ... anal I understand, Neems - but vaginal? Were they afraid that the condemned would lay an egg?