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What Was The Motive ?? Was It Disease Based?

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  • What Was The Motive ?? Was It Disease Based?

    This thread devoted to discussing whether JTR was a victim of syphilis or some other malady which may have affected his mind enough to become the Saucy One.....

    For instance, some of the suspects [ Stephenson and Cutbush,for two examples ] were alleged to have had syphilis. The former's "case" is unproven to date,as more work is being done to prove or disprove this claim... while the latter may have thought he had syphilis [ which will drive one already on the edge,just that much farther,thinking one had that dreaded affliction....

    Some legitimately had syphilis...James Kelly, Michael Kidney [ a rising candidate in many minds as the killer of Elizabeth Stride ] as well as others.

    So...remembering that while syphilis is curable today,in 1888 it was not. Some tonics such as bichloride of mercury and arsenic existed...but couldn't cure syphilis.

    Having syphilis in 1888,although not that uncommon,while not being a mandatory death sentence such as A.I.D.S. is now, still caused many,if not most,of the afflicted to wind up insane or dying prematurely.

    James Kelly had syphilis for 47 years. If the claim that Stephenson had it is true [ the reason he was ousted from Customs House in 1868] , he had had syphilis for eight years prior to marrying Anne Deary,twenty years prior to 1888,and 48 years up to his death in 1916.

    I,for one,think it is an anomaly that men [ or women ] would not be confined to a mental institution at some point,if they had syphilis...or wound up dead prematurely... Kelly did go to Broadmoor...Stephenson is not known to have been institutionialized. This, at present, is where the Stephenson with syphilis saga resides.

    Your thoughts....
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  • #2
    G'day Slob,

    I reckon this thread is worth a go as in Oz when you've got a VD or STD it's known as the clap or 'Jack'. ACDC did a song about it.

    This is another one worth thinking about.

    Jules

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    • #3
      Jules my dear...

      Nina Thomas's daughter is a doctor and stated to her that someone with syphilis could live for a long period of time even back then.

      Capone comes to mind here ( fishing in his pajamas in his Florida swimming pool )...but there are cases of syphlitics living long lives.

      I wonder if RDS might have acquired it and that this might be more of a viable reason to suspect him ... Just look at how he tried several times to infuse himself into the Case...

      Slobbovian Milosevic
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      • #4
        Brain damage

        Not sure if this is the right area to post but here goes. I was thinking about a case I read about many years ago. I have unsuccessfully tried to find it. It happened several hundred years ago. Basically it involved a man who was shot in the head with an arrow and miraculously survived. As a result he displayed a radical change in his behaviour and personality. Perhaps JtR was involved in some sort of accident that resulted in damage to part of the brain. This might account for the suddenness of the killings and maybe he died of complications or was hospitalised or whatever.
        Any thoughts?

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        • #5
          Tania:

          He certainly could have had brain disease. At this juncture, it's difficult to say what sort. Possibly the effects of war...bump on the head ( Numerous serial killers have brain trauma in their resume which affected them), etc...
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          • #6
            Hi, Tania.

            I am unaware of the man several hundred years ago with the arrow through the head. I am aware of and have a book about a fellow who got a metal rod through his head due to a blasting accident. He lived quite awhile and his personality was changed. He was not violent.

            Others have shot themselves in the head and lived with personality changes. Unity Mitford comes to mind as an historical case.

            There is a YouTube channel devoted to 'death row executions'. This is not something I would ordinarily watch but it is kind of an interesting format. Many of the really horrific serial killers had a long accumulation of head traumas, abuse, neglect and other misfortunes. Some only began to act out after they developed a substance misuse disorder. Drugs and alcohol and brain damage do not mix well. I think it is rare that a single head trauma has led to development of a serial killer or if that has ever been the case.

            You might also be interested in the work of Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford. A number of his lectures are available on YouTube. His research indicates behaviour is physiologically driven.

            We have another member who can better address the course of syphilis. (We have some excellent threads addressing syphilis and Merv is the one with the best knowledge.) There is an incident worth sharing from my own life. My friend's grandmother, a very sweet old lady, got up one morning, grabbed a gun in the household and blew her husband's brains into his bowl of cornflakes. A previous husband had given her syphilis which was apparently undiagnosed. She was so ill by the time she killed her husband that she was simply admitted to the mental hospital where she died a month later.

            I am involved in nursing a certain person in my life. This person has had multiple head traumas and emotional tragedies. The Patient's behaviour is outrageous and out of control. This whole mess is wrapped up in a huge medico-political bureaucracy which is why I was called upon. Experts I have consulted think The Patient has severe PTSD from the many traumas in life. It is further suggested that The Patient started on this course in the mother's womb as the mother had had severe traumas. The experts believe biochemical damage and faulty connections in the brain can be caused and amplified in this way.

            It is known through imaging that serial killers and other depraved criminals have bad connexions in the brain. For instance pedophiles are said to have the nurturing section(s) of the brain directly wired to the sexual arousal section(s). Instead of feeling normal nurturing toward children, these people are sexually aroused.

            Basic brain development has to do with forming neural pathways which send and receive messages through bioelectricity under the influence of ions and neurochemicals. Think of the neural pathways as electric wires. If they are hooked up in aberrant ways, aberrant behaviour can occur. (Adding drugs and alcohol to these faulty circuits creates a neurochemical soup which lessens impulse control.)

            In the many JtR suspects there are some who are reported to have had lives of severe trauma, illness and neglect. William Henry Bury and James Kelly come to mind. Many people in that time had very hard lives with a lot of physical illness and distress.

            One other case of physical brain damage and violence is that of the Texas bell tower mass shooter. This was long before mass shootings happened with regularity. It happened at a Texas university decades ago. That shooter had a brain tumor.



            I believe behaviour is ultimately physiological or genetically driven. I do not think people can think themselves well or sick.
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
              Hi, Tania.


              You might also be interested in the work of Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford. A number of his lectures are available on YouTube. His research indicates behaviour is physiologically driven.



              It is known through imaging that serial killers and other depraved criminals have bad connexions in the brain. For instance pedophiles are said to have the nurturing section(s) of the brain directly wired to the sexual arousal section(s). Instead of feeling normal nurturing toward children, these people are sexually aroused.

              Basic brain development has to do with forming neural pathways which send and receive messages through bioelectricity under the influence of ions and neurochemicals. Think of the neural pathways as electric wires. If they are hooked up in aberrant ways, aberrant behaviour can occur. (Adding drugs and alcohol to these faulty circuits creates a neurochemical soup which lessens impulse control.)


              One other case of physical brain damage and violence is that of the Texas bell tower mass shooter. This was long before mass shootings happened with regularity. It happened at a Texas university decades ago. That shooter had a brain tumor.



              I believe behaviour is ultimately physiological or genetically driven. I do not think people can think themselves well or sick.
              My friends 18 year old daughter has had to be taken into care recently. A lot of her difficulties are down to her being severely autistic and she was becoming increasingly violent towards her father and younger brother (the mother is absent). I was told that autism is where the neural connections are 'wired differently'. Many people are autistic without themselves or others realising it. Autism can also create short cuts that can manifest themselves in unusual ways such as an exceptional talent such as in mathematics or music.

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              • #8
                Suspect JtR was a high functioning Asperger,given his post mortem on Eddowes.

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                • #9
                  More and more is found on imaging. I have been involved with, let me say, a patient, for a number of months now. Her mom and I were good friends and her mom was killed many years ago. The mom started having odd seizures after the birth of her second child and over time her behaviour became peculiar. The patient has had a different life but now shows the same traits which don't exactly fit a diagnosis though there is a psychiatric label. So why would the daughter act so much like the mother?

                  I looked up the physiology of that label and imaging shows that psychiatric diagnosis occurs in people with certain regions of the brain slightly smaller than normal and some wiring abnormalities. My takeaway is that if people with this brain structure are put under sufficient physiological stress, the psychiatric diagnosis may happen.

                  It's hard to say what JtR may or may not have had. A round table of high ranking police officers who worked on some of the worst cases in America, had interesting observations about JtR. Based upon what is known of modern serial killers, it was said that the type that kills quickly and then slashes or dismembers, only kills for that purpose. They said this type of killer has little or no impulse control. If they see their desired prey or if the mood strikes them, they attack. They are disorganized and completely impulsive, taking little if any care about getting caught when they are in the middle of committing their crimes.

                  I thought this pretty well described JtR. Substances may or may not play a part. I figure JtR was drinking in pubs, probably drank up his courage on at least five occasions and committed high profile, highly risky crimes which he survived due to luck and such a complete knowledge of the East End that escape for him was simple.

                  There are lots of brain issues that cause people to have low impulse control. I think it is very difficult to guess anything very exact. IMO it is also possible that JtR only struck when he had had enough to drink, an activity that lowers impulse control for most.
                  The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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