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  • New Kid on the Block

    One set of case notes from 1912, held in the Bethlem Royal Hospital Archive, details the final year of a patient.

    This is the real world. This is an unsuspected suspect for the Whitechapel Murders who just walks through the door. Welcome to Bedlam.

    Abraham Raphael who had been admitted with “dementia of the general paralytic” (1). Raphael’s case is typical: “patients with GPI were admitted to countless private and public asylums during the period and Raphael is just one such example”
    (Waddington, “General Paralysis” 367). Yet within the case notes recorded by Raphael’s attending physicians there is, as with Charlotte’s story, a bodily aesthetic that emerges as belonging very clearly to Raphael himself. While the majority of the notes present a
    medicalized account of Raphael’s deteriorating condition (marked by medical language and the standard physician’s shorthand) his own voice is also given narrative purchase, even if this is supposed only to exemplify the increasingly debilitating dementia from which he suffers.
    Emerging from Raphael’s discussions with his physicians, probably best described as reported monologues, is first his religious affiliation to Judaism. He describes himself as “the chosen of God” and a “perfect man” (3). However, a more powerful historical
    myth also invades Raphael’s narratives: the myth of the perpetrator of the Whitechapel Murders of 1888, who had been given the name Jack the Ripper. Following from his discussion of his Jewish religion, Raphael, his physicians report, “says that he has prevented a great many unmarried women from becoming pregnant by passing a lancet and an electric lamp up the rectum and then removing the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, this is also apparently to prevent them suffering from syphilis” (3). As many cultural historians have shown the modern mythology of the Whitechapel murderer was already being constructed even as the murders continued across the later months of 1888 (Curtis; Frayling; Oldridge). Central to that mythology both at the time, and in the 1910s when Raphael was in Bethlem, was the relationship between the murders, the murderer and medicine, and in particular to a style of medicine associated with physiology and the laboratory, seen as essential components in the emergence of modern bio medicine. The murders were thought to be horrific transgressions of 4 medical practices in their hideous desecration of the female body and its reproductive system(Walkowitz). The murderer, it was speculated, may have been a man with medical knowledge and training. Indeed the name given to the unknown perpetrator, Jack the Ripper,encapsulated that understanding of the close relation between medicine and the murders by using a common term for anatomical dissection (to rip). One other key feature of the Whitechapel murders was the suspicion that fell on those communities in the area regarded as non-
    British, and in particular the East End’s Jews.

    Raphael’s narrative of invasion of the female body clearly resonates with the
    Whitechapel Murders in several ways. First, Raphael’s status as London Jew allied him with those who came under intense scrutiny in 1888. Second, his fantasised violence against female reproduction, and its associations with aberrant sexuality leading to sexually-transmitted disease, gives narrative form to the activities of the Whitechapel murderer. Ye this narrative is also more complex than this. By narrating a clearly fictional version of himself as a latter-day Jack the Ripper Raphael is associating himself both with the medical profession and the sexual psychopath who committed the crimes. The reason for the latter association is self-evident: Raphael is himself suffering from syphilitic dementia that has
    already undermined his mental stability. He presents this, from a patient’s fearful perspective,within the condition of an historical myth that stresses the gothic horror of such suffering as well as the gothic associations with the institution (Bedlam) in which he found himself. At the same time his present medical encounter colours his relationship with the attending physicians, and he incorporates into his myth-making fiction a view of their clinical investigations of his illness made equally horrific. Indeed what Raphael’s historical analogy with the Whitechapel murderer achieves here is to offer an extreme critique of the depersonalized medical gaze by making that gaze monstrous and destructive, reinforcing the idea that the patient must be conceptualized as an integral part of bio medicine (Armstrong;
    Warner 1999). To read Raphael’s fantastic story please contact me.

  • #2
    Thanks A.P.

    This link (PDF) might be of interest

    http://www.literatureandscience.org/...sden-55-73.pdf
    To Join JTR Forums, Contact :
    Howard@jtrforums.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh my gosh, I just discovered that this Raphael is very closely related to my prize - but discarded witness by the 'experts' that is, but certainly not by little ol me - Nathan Shine who witnessed the slaying of one victim:
      Spouse: Shine, Nathan
      b. 1842 Germany
      d. 27 SEP 1869 Mile End, London, England
      Gender: Male
      Children:

      OK, I know this Nathan Shine died before the events we discuss, but we do know we have another Nathan Shine resident in Mile End in 1888, and this is highly likely to be his son, and closely related to Raphael.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting is that some of the extended family members adopted the English surname 'Barnett'.

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        • #5
          Hi AP. Debra Arif has already researched and posted about this in length

          Yours truly,

          Tom Wescott

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi AP, All,

            I must admit I've always been interested in the Nathan Shine account. In my more out of the box moments, I've wondered if young Nathan was the template for Schwartz.

            As a point of interest, Isaac Van Gelder, one of the senior members of the Spittalfields Vigilance Commitee, married Nathan's widowed mother in 1891.

            2ND QUARTER 1891 – LONDON CITY (District London City Vol. 1c Page 88)
            Rachel Shine (Musaphia) married Isaac Van Gelder

            http://www.mandy-janes.co.uk/SHINE/shines.htm
            Dave
            "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for that, Dave, much appreciated. Most dismiss the Nathan Shine account out of hand, but I have always thought that to be both a reckless and thoughtless dismissal. There is much more to the Shine connection still to be discovered.

              Tom, this is what happens when you cast someone out into the wilderness for 40 years, they miss a few points of discussion.

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              • #8
                Hi AP. I was just joking. Trying to get your dander up. I'd better not find out you're in contact with my cover artist! He submitted a great new rendering of the title with the word 'Murders' in red. But for some reason he chose to paper it with American currency...Yankee dollars! It would be great if I were writing about a 20th century American murder-for-money crime, but...

                Yours truly,

                Tom Wescott

                Comment


                • #9
                  I like that, Tom! A cover with Yankee dollars, genius!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
                    Hi AP. Debra Arif has already researched and posted about this in length

                    Yours truly,

                    Tom Wescott
                    Greetings Debs!
                    Would you mind sharing with me your research and thoughts on this before I take up the subject once again? Please!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AP Wolf View Post
                      Greetings Debs!
                      Would you mind sharing with me your research and thoughts on this before I take up the subject once again? Please!
                      I would if I had any, AP! Tom was having you on.

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                      • #12
                        AP, he was a schoolmaster at the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum in Norwood.

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                        • #13
                          His case notes are online. For some reason they have him as Edward Raphael.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks Robert & Debs!
                            Tom joking?! My how the planet has shifted!
                            I must say that I am captivated by two items on the link that follows. One is that the Shine family were resident at 27 Dorset Street for some time; and the other that the said Nathan Shine was a 'Cats Meat Vendor'.
                            Now why does that grab my attention?
                            Robert my dear chap I have given up all alcohol that is over 14% proof, a civilised glass of red red wine is my sin these sunny days! And I'm pleased to say I was able to get rid of a 45 year old addiction for brandy and whisky by falling in love with a gorgeous lady who doesn't like stand up or fall down drunks!
                            Any chance Robert of sending me the link to that on line goldmine you prosper concerning Shine etc? Please!
                            http://www.mandy-janes.co.uk/SHINE/shines.htm

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              AP, ah, well cure of an addiction is good compensation for having to remember to leave the toilet seat down.


                              I don't have anything in particular on the Shines. Do you mean Abraham's case notes? I'll have to send them to you page by page because they're on Find My Past. Also maybe How will kindly put them on photobucket or Flicker or whatever it is so everyone can see them. He likes to save on his bandwidth.


                              If your email has changed please PM me the new one. I wrote to you at Christmas but didn't get a reply.

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