Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Does "Sexually Insane" Mean Homosexual?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Does "Sexually Insane" Mean Homosexual?

    A perennial point that surfaces from time to time has appeared again in the "Druitt, cricket and other statistics" which, in my opinion, deserves its own thread. This is the thorny problem of what exactly is meant by the phrase "sexually insane" as applied to Druitt?
    Let us remind ourselves of what was written in the the Macnaghten memorandum, where the phrase in question occurs.
    (1) A Mr M. J. Druitt, said to be a doctor & of good family -- who disappeared at the time of the Miller's Court murder, & whose body (which was said to have been upwards of a month in the water) was found in the Thames on 31st December -- or about 7 weeks after that murder. He was sexually insane and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer.
    Now, the much discussed question is this:
    Does Macnaghten mean by this phrase that Druitt was, or was believed to be, homosexual?
    Although male homosexuality was at this period completely illegal, (the Oscar Wilde trials occurred the very year after the Macnaghten memo was written) and would very probably be described at the time as unnatural and a perversion, was the phrase "sexually insane" an accepted euphemism for homsexuality?
    Very pertinent to this is a supplementary question. Is there any other known contemporary or near contemporary instance of the phrase "sexually insane" being unequivocally used to indicate homosexuality?
    The issue is important in that it has produced ramifications. The much discussed reason for Druitt's "serious trouble" and his apparently precipitate dismissal from Valentine's school, has been often explained as inappropriate conduct with his pupils. But on this aspect two important points need to be stressed:
    1) There is not ONE SHRED of evidence to support this interpretation of events and there are other perfectly viable alternatives.
    2) The mention of Druitt being sexually insane, and this phrase being interpreted as his being homosexual, would seem to suggest that in the interpretation of events involving his pupils, that there could be some causal link between homosexuality and child molestation. All evidence suggests that there is no such link and the vast majority of child molesters would be classified as heterosexual.
    The interpretation that Druitt was homosexual seems to have entered the Ripper mythos and I have seen numerous instances where it is stated as though a given and proven fact. In fact, of course, it is nothing of the sort. There is NO evidence of any sort regarding Druitt's sexuality.
    The point I think of most interest is that of any other known instance where the phrase "sexually insane" is used to definitely indicate homosexuality.

  • #2
    Chris,
    Macnaghten gives a fairly clear (albeit over simplified) definition of what he meant by sexually insane in Days of My Years and in essence it meant somebody who killed for the love of killing, or who was aroused by the sight of blood:

    "MOTIVELESS murders, are, from a detective's point of view, of very exceptional interest, and the two most remarkable of these, within the last generation, were unquestionably those known as " The Lambeth Poisoning Case " in 1892, for which the notorious Neil Cream suffered the extreme penalty of the law, and the Camden Town murder in 1907, for which no one was ever made amenable. Both of these murders were committed by sexual maniacs, by men who killed for the joy of killing, but their types were wholly different."

    "Students of history, however, are aware that an excessive indulgence in vice leads, in certain cases, to a craving for blood. Nero was probably a sexual maniac. Many Eastern potentates in all ages, who loved to see slaves slaughtered or wild beasts tearing each other to pieces, have been similarly affected."

    The term as interpreted and applied by Macnaghten therefore does not imply homosexuality, but is a motive for killing simply for the sake of killing, though it embraced "in many cases a hatred of woman as woman" and "Not infrequently the maniac possesses
    a diseased body."

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello Chris,

      This is a decisve post of yours, thank you.

      1) There is no shred of evidence against Druitt being a murderer.
      2) There is no shred of evidence of him having been violent, either towards men or women.
      3) No qualified doctor has pronounced Druitt as insane.
      4) No qualified doctor has ever brought Druiit's sexuality in question.
      5) There is no shred of evidence of him having been seen nor recognised in the area of Whitechapel by anyone.
      6) There is great doubt of literary evidence that "sexually insane" means homosexual.
      7) MacNaghten was not a qualified Doctor. He was therefore not in any position to declare anybody sexually insane, on the presumption that it does not mean homosexual.
      8) There is actually no evidence of insanity of any sort except from Druitt himself in his own suicide noted where he feared he would go the saem way as his mother.
      9) Hereditary insanity does not mean a doorway to homosexuality.
      10) There has never been a serial killing cricketer in the entire history of the game, at the level of Druitt nor above.
      11) Sexual insanity is a terminology that has a medical background.
      12) There is no evidence for Druitt actually being homosexual.
      13) There is no evidence that he ever laid a finger on any schoolboy.
      14) He was a successful Barrister and had no apparent money worries.
      15) The West of England MP was not a qualified doctor either, and cannot possibly have been in a position of authority to have influenced MacNaghten on any medical terminology.
      16) That from private information the family or friends or aquaintances of Druitt believed him to be the murderer is in actual fact, a waste of time and a red herring. There were very many other people who "believed" "x, y or z" to have been the murderer. Being a family or person of position in society doesn't mean that they should be warranted any more weight of opinion on labelling someone a murderer than a poor family's opinions.
      17) If Anderson was completely right.. then MacNaghten wasn't. If MacNaghten was completely right, then Anderson wasn't. It cannot be both ways because then we have two murderers. And if those two are BOTH correct, Abberline is wrong. Unless you have three murderers. And if they are right, Reid is completely wrong saying there wasn't a piffle of evidence against anyone. And if Reid is right... then Anderson, MacNaghten and Abberline are all wrong. So the label of sexually insane by a policeman without any evidence weighed up against Reid, is logically underweighted. Likewise Anderson, likewise Abberline.

      All of the above, or even HALF of the above, suggests the whole thing is complete supposition and one single person's hunch... and don't you think Abberline, Reid, Arnold and Co would have dearly loved to have said ..yes, we got him?

      People can argue until they are blue in the face about this.. but until some piece of paper turns up from somewhere (if it does, be sure it will be for the 125th)... Druitt is a dead duck in terms of being a suspect. There just isnt the evidence, whether sexuallly insane means homosexual or not. And if it did..

      it still doesnt make him a killer. Homosexual, straight, bi-sexual, tranvestitite or even hermaphrodite. It doesn't make him a killer.

      Thanks for posting this Chris.

      kindly

      Phil
      from 1905...to 19.05..it was written in the stars

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello Paul,

        I hope you are well.

        The term as interpreted and applied by Macnaghten therefore does not imply homosexuality, but is a motive for killing simply for the sake of killing, though it embraced "in many cases a hatred of woman as woman" and "Not infrequently the maniac possesses
        a diseased body."
        Ok.. if you wish to argue that point, then where has MacNaghten the evidence of Druitt having a "hatred of woman as woman" come from, and the "evidence of a diseased body"? The word of "private info? That is nowhere near enough qualified to label a person as a murderer, based on an interpretation of a line "sexually insane".

        No known fact about Druitt allies to either of these points. There is no evidence that Druitt even crushed a fly, let alone mutilated a bunch of unfortunates. Even his supposed insanity only actually comes in written form from his own fear of going the same way as his mother.

        kindly

        Phil
        from 1905...to 19.05..it was written in the stars

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Phil Carter View Post
          Hello Paul,

          I hope you are well.



          Ok.. if you wish to argue that point, then where has MacNaghten the evidence of Druitt having a "hatred of woman as woman" come from, and the "evidence of a diseased body"? The word of "private info? That is nowhere near enough qualified to label a person as a murderer, based on an interpretation of a line "sexually insane".

          No known fact about Druitt allies to either of these points. There is no evidence that Druitt even crushed a fly, let alone mutilated a bunch of unfortunates. Even his supposed insanity only actually comes in written form from his own fear of going the same way as his mother.

          kindly

          Phil
          I dont see how this can be argued without knowing the nature of McNaughtens 'Private info'

          It's all supposition and can be argued to both suport and dismiss Druit as a possible Jack.

          "We dont know" , is a perfectly reasonable position

          Yours Jeff

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Phil Carter View Post
            Hello Paul,

            I hope you are well.



            Ok.. if you wish to argue that point, then where has MacNaghten the evidence of Druitt having a "hatred of woman as woman" come from, and the "evidence of a diseased body"? The word of "private info? That is nowhere near enough qualified to label a person as a murderer, based on an interpretation of a line "sexually insane".

            No known fact about Druitt allies to either of these points. There is no evidence that Druitt even crushed a fly, let alone mutilated a bunch of unfortunates. Even his supposed insanity only actually comes in written form from his own fear of going the same way as his mother.

            kindly

            Phil
            I am not arguing any point. The question Chris posed was whether or not "sexually insane" equated with homosexual, and I am providing Macnaghten's definition of it, from which it seems clear that it didn't, but meant killing for the pleasure of killing. Nowhere do I say or does Macnaghten say that Druitt hated women as women or that he had a diseased body, only that sexual maniacs "in many cases" and "not infrequently" possess such traits. Macnaghten in fact makes it clear that sexual maniacs came in Protean forms.

            As for your other comments, I am not aware that Macnaghten labeled anyone a murderer simply on a line "sexually insane".

            Comment


            • #7
              Hello Paul,

              Maybe I am misreading something here, but it seems you are equating "sexually insane" with "sexual maniac." I am not entirely convinced that the two terms are equal. They might be, but I don't know.

              Rob H

              Comment


              • #8
                This source describes sexual insanity as "adults mentally disordered through sexual continence or abuse." I think the idea is to "become" insane through "sexual irregularities", and this would probably include masturbation, a.k.a "abuse".

                http://books.google.com/books?id=Bx6...ity%22&f=false

                This book mentions "mania of lactation and other forms of sexual insanity." Mania of lactation perhaps being postpartum depression(?). It also mentions "nymphomania" as another form of sexual insanity.

                http://books.google.com/books?id=B0o...tation&f=false

                This book mentions "sexual insanity especially among masturbators" - http://books.google.com/books?id=LAo...ity%22&f=false


                This source mentions a letter written by Oscar Wilde in which he asks his sentence be commuted "on the grounds that he was not criminal, but a man suffering from sexual insanity." This would perhaps support the idea that one of the forms of sexual insanity was homosexuality.

                http://www.oscholars.com/TO/Appendix...y/Robbins.html

                "These words mimic, in a very different tone, another letter which Wilde wrote in prison, this time to the Home Secretary. This second letter is humble, scientific and legalistic. Wilde asked for his sentence to be commuted on the grounds that he was not criminal, but a man suffering from sexual insanity. He borrows the register of contemporary sociology and criminology, and insists (as Ackroyd’s Wilde does with satirical intent) that he is a case study, not an evil man. His crimes are ‘diseases to be cured by a physician rather than crimes to be punished by a judge’ (Selected Letters, 142)."

                This source equates "sexual insanity" with "erotomania" and refers to "satyriasis" and "nymphomania."
                http://books.google.com/books?id=-tJ...ity%22&f=false

                Under the entry for erotomania - "Suppressed nature, however, demands her rights, and the unnatural life of monks often leads to erotic insanity; in such cases we see in the same individual mystic ideas associated with irresistible sexual appetite provoking wild excesses."

                Moreover, I think Psychopathia Sexualis was essentially a "medico-legal study of sexual insanity" in its various forms.

                RH

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Rob,
                  I was perhaps being over-simplistic in taking "mania" to be synonymous with "insanity". Macnaghten says Jack the Ripper was a sexual maniac and he proceeds to define a "sexual maniac" as someone who kills for the pleasure of killings, though, as said, he acknowledges that this takes many forms, and it seems that his primary concern was to make it clear to his readers that killing could be and sometimes was the sole purpose of the murderer. It seems that mental health definitions were and to some degree still are fairly fluid. Anyway, the main point was whether or not Macnaghten used "sexual mania" as a euphemism for homosexual, and it seems that he didn't.
                  Paul

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul View Post
                    I am not arguing any point. The question Chris posed was whether or not "sexually insane" equated with homosexual, and I am providing Macnaghten's definition of it, from which it seems clear that it didn't, but meant killing for the pleasure of killing. Nowhere do I say or does Macnaghten say that Druitt hated women as women or that he had a diseased body, only that sexual maniacs "in many cases" and "not infrequently" possess such traits. Macnaghten in fact makes it clear that sexual maniacs came in Protean forms.

                    As for your other comments, I am not aware that Macnaghten labeled anyone a murderer simply on a line "sexually insane".
                    Hi Paul

                    You did not in your answer talk about Littlechild but it would seem that in his letter to G. R. Sims of 1913 Littlechild was equating sexually deviancy and hatred of women with the type of man the Whitechapel murderer might have been.

                    Chris
                    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                    https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes he did. But it was Macnaghten who was describing Druitt and it is therefore Macnaghten's understanding of the term "sexual maniac" that presumably describes Druitt.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul View Post
                        Yes he did. But it was Macnaghten who was describing Druitt and it is therefore Macnaghten's understanding of the term "sexual maniac" that presumably describes Druitt.
                        Fair enough.
                        Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                        https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                        Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Paul,

                          I guess my issue with your assumption is that Macnaghten (in the memorandum) seems to be listing several facts buttressing his theory that Macnaghten was the Ripper, and that the statement "he was sexually insane" seems to be, in Macnaghten's opinion, a fact that supports his theory. If "sexually insane" means that he was a person who killed for the pleasure of killing... well, this would be a fairly weird statement to make, would it not?

                          It would analogous to saying "I believe that such-and-such a person was a serial killer because he a) was a loner b) was obsessed with his mother c) visited the murder sites d) hated prostitutes e) had a history of violence and f) killed for pleasure." It just does not make sense as an argument, unless there is actual proof he was the murderer. For a convicted and known killer (like Cream) it would make sense to say that he killed for pleasure, but for a possible suspect, such a statement makes no sense, unless you know it for a fact.

                          Therefore, I tend to think that "sexually insane," in this particular context, must mean something else.

                          Rob

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, it's Macnaghten's definition, not mine. I was simplytrying to say how Macnaghten defined the term.
                            Paul

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi again Paul,

                              Yes, but this gets back to my first point. Macnaghten's definition of a "sexual maniac" was a murderer who killed for pleasure, but I am not dure if Macnaghten meant the same thing when he called Druitt "sexually insane." Yes, I believe he called Jack the Ripper a "sexual maniac"... fair enough. But he did not use this term to describe Druitt.

                              I realize I may seem to be nitpicking, but I think it is an important distinction.

                              Cheers.

                              Rob

                              Hi Chris,

                              Re: your PM: yes in my previous post I did not mean to write "buttressing his theory that Macnaghten was the Ripper."

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X