Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Does "Sexually Insane" Mean Homosexual?

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

  • #31
    Originally posted by Paul View Post
    No, I don't think that and I, too, doubt that Macnaghten would think it.
    Thanks, Paul

    I was just trying to 'clear the air' there.
    Itsnotrocketsurgery

    Comment


    • #32
      I could tell, Stephen. :-)

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Stephen Thomas View Post
        Ah ha

        Jack the Ripper was a sexual maniac.

        Druitt was 'sexually insane'.

        Therefore Druitt was Jack the Ripper.

        Is that what you think MacNaghton believed, Paul?

        I doubt that he could be that stupid.
        Hi Stephen et al.

        One would hope that Macnaghten was not that stupid, or rather misled, about what he was looking at in terms of Druitt's candidacy. But it's possible, I fear, that the notion, say, that Druitt was driven to go with low East End women or had some other vice connected to the East End plus some idea in his family that he could have been the killer, combined with the overarching and, I am afraid eternally damning, reality that he died at the right time to have been the killer, to make him Jack the Ripper in Macnaghten's mind. And while Jonathan Hainsworth argues strongly that Macnaghten fully investigated Druitt, we don't know that. In fact, if we go by the wording of the famous Memorandum, Macnaghten displays only a skimpy knowledge of the man in telling us that Druitt was "said to be a doctor & of good family" which gives us no reassurance that he looked deeply into the man or his background. Jonathan's argument is that as a fellow gentile Englishman, Macnaghten would not have chosen Druitt as his candidate to have been the Ripper unless he was certain he was the killer, yet could it be more that Sir Melville was so certain of the suspect's depravity that he became equally certain of Druitt's guilt? To be brutal about it, it might not have mattered to Macnaghten that Druitt was a gentile and Englishman if the man had shown himself to have been so outside of the mainstream of English society through some unmentionable vice.

        Best regards

        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


        • #34
          Originally posted by Paul View Post
          Let's get back to the original question, which was whether "sexual maniac" as applied by Macnaghten meant homosexual. The answer to that question is that it doesn't, not at least as far as the definition provided by Macnaghten goes. A "sexual maniac" was someone who killed for pleasure and had no conventional motive that the public expected at that time.
          The original question was whether the term "sexual insanity" meant homosexual, not the term sexual maniac. Every time Macnaghten uses the term "sexual maniac" he is referring to the Ripper, not to Druitt. Yes, he may have been thinking Druitt when he said this, but unless he had proof that Druitt killed for sexual pleasure, I doubt he would have used the term "sexual maniac" in the sense of a person who kills for pleasure. The Macnaghten memorandum is what we are discussing is it not? In it, Macnaghten lists 4 facts that (in his mind) support the theory that Druitt was the Ripper. 1) he disappeared after the Kelly murder 2) he committed suicide shortly after the Kelly murder 3) he was sexually insane and 4) his family had suspicions he was the killer.

          Again, Macnaghten never refers to Druitt as a sexual maniac.

          The term mania was a subcategory of insanity, and while I do not believe that Macnaghten was qualified to make such distinctions about categories of insanity, he clearly had an idea of what a sexual maniac was, since he defines the term specifically. I also assume he had a layman's understanding of the Victorian-era definition of sexual insanity... which basically included just about anything that was considered aberrant behavior in the Victorian era.

          RH

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
            Hi Stephen et al.

            One would hope that Macnaghten was not that stupid, or rather misled, about what he was looking at in terms of Druitt's candidacy. But it's possible, I fear, that the notion, say, that Druitt was driven to go with low East End women or had some other vice connected to the East End plus some idea in his family that he could have been the killer, combined with the overarching and, I am afraid eternally damning, reality that he died at the right time to have been the killer, to make him Jack the Ripper in Macnaghten's mind. And while Jonathan Hainsworth argues strongly that Macnaghten fully investigated Druitt, we don't know that. In fact, if we go by the wording of the famous Memorandum, Macnaghten displays only a skimpy knowledge of the man in telling us that Druitt was "said to be a doctor & of good family" which gives us no reassurance that he looked deeply into the man or his background. Jonathan's argument is that as a fellow gentile Englishman, Macnaghten would not have chosen Druitt as his candidate to have been the Ripper unless he was certain he was the killer, yet could it be more that Sir Melville was so certain of the suspect's depravity that he became equally certain of Druitt's guilt? To be brutal about it, it might not have mattered to Macnaghten that Druitt was a gentile and Englishman if the man had shown himself to have been so outside of the mainstream of English society through some unmentionable vice.

            Best regards

            Chris
            Anything is possible, Chris. It's all speculation though.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Rob House View Post
              The original question was whether the term "sexual insanity" meant homosexual, not the term sexual maniac. Every time Macnaghten uses the term "sexual maniac" he is referring to the Ripper, not to Druitt. Yes, he may have been thinking Druitt when he said this, but unless he had proof that Druitt killed for sexual pleasure, I doubt he would have used the term "sexual maniac" in the sense of a person who kills for pleasure. The Macnaghten memorandum is what we are discussing is it not? In it, Macnaghten lists 4 facts that (in his mind) support the theory that Druitt was the Ripper. 1) he disappeared after the Kelly murder 2) he committed suicide shortly after the Kelly murder 3) he was sexually insane and 4) his family had suspicions he was the killer.

              Again, Macnaghten never refers to Druitt as a sexual maniac.

              The term mania was a subcategory of insanity, and while I do not believe that Macnaghten was qualified to make such distinctions about categories of insanity, he clearly had an idea of what a sexual maniac was, since he defines the term specifically. I also assume he had a layman's understanding of the Victorian-era definition of sexual insanity... which basically included just about anything that was considered aberrant behavior in the Victorian era.

              RH
              Hi Rob,
              I am beginning to regret posting to JTRForums about this, but if you want to suppose that "sexually insane" and "sexual maniac" mean different things, one being reserved for Druitt and the other for Jack the Ripper, even though Macnaghten thought they were one and the same, then that's fine. And Macnaghten would have described Druitt as killing for pleasure, even without proof that he did so, because that is precisely what he thought of the Camden Town murderer, whose identity was never established.

              Comment


              • #37
                Protean

                I don't think that there is a clear cut answer to this question.

                I have to admit that I had always thought, bearing in mind the Victorian way of stating such things in a circumspect way, that 'sexually insane' was likely to mean homosexual. Paul, of course, makes some good points and points out, correctly, that if he is referring to Druitt as the Ripper then you cannot really separate the two descriptions of 'sexually insane' and 'sexual maniac' nor can you ignore similar cases cited in Macnaghten's Days of My Years.

                However, also in the Ripper chapter his book, Macnaghten is careful to say, 'The man, of course, was a sexual maniac, but such madness takes Protean forms, as will be shown later on in other cases.'

                When we move on to Macnaghten's chapter describing the Cream murders and the Camden Town murder he states, 'Both of these murders were committed by sexual maniacs, - by men who killed for the joy of killing, - but their types were wholly different.'

                He then qualifies this further by stating, 'As I have said before, when writing of the Whitechapel murders, such madness takes Protean forms.' So he is emphasising that whilst they share a 'joy of killing' the form of the madness varied. Protean means 'variable, versatile, taking many forms.' Macnagthen's use of a capital 'P' in the word protean indicates that he is aware the word is based on the marine deity, Proteus, who had the faculty of assuming different shapes at will, remarkable for changefulness of form. Indeed, the Victorian definition of 'Protean' was 'readily assuming different shapes.'

                So whilst the two other cases of 'sexual mania' described by Macnaghten did not involve homosexuality, I feel we must allow the possibilty that a 'Protean form' of sexual madness could, in Macnaghten's view, include homosexual behaviour. There is no certain answer.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by SPE View Post
                  I don't think that there is a clear cut answer to this question.

                  I have to admit that I had always thought, bearing in mind the Victorian way of stating such things in a circumspect way, that 'sexually insane' was likely to mean homosexual. Paul, of course, makes some good points and points out, correctly, that if he is referring to Druitt as the Ripper then you cannot really separate the two descriptions of 'sexually insane' and 'sexual maniac' nor can you ignore similar cases cited in Macnaghten's Days of My Years.

                  However, also in the Ripper chapter his book, Macnaghten is careful to say, 'The man, of course, was a sexual maniac, but such madness takes Protean forms, as will be shown later on in other cases.'

                  When we move on to Macnaghten's chapter describing the Cream murders and the Camden Town murder he states, 'Both of these murders were committed by sexual maniacs, - by men who killed for the joy of killing, - but their types were wholly different.'

                  He then qualifies this further by stating, 'As I have said before, when writing of the Whitechapel murders, such madness takes Protean forms.' So he is emphasising that whilst they share a 'joy of killing' the form of the madness varied. Protean means 'variable, versatile, taking many forms.' Macnagthen's use of a capital 'P' in the word protean indicates that he is aware the word is based on the marine deity, Proteus, who had the faculty of assuming different shapes at will, remarkable for changefulness of form. Indeed, the Victorian definition of 'Protean' was 'readily assuming different shapes.'

                  So whilst the two other cases of 'sexual mania' described by Macnaghten did not involve homosexuality, I feel we must allow the possibilty that a 'Protean form' of sexual madness could, in Macnaghten's view, include homosexual behaviour. There is no certain answer.
                  Hi Stewart,
                  Yes, precisely. What Macnaghten seems to be saying - well, what Macnaghten does say - is that over-indulgence in vices can in some cases lead to a blood lust (otherwise "sexual mania") and killing for the joy of it. Whilst the end result - "motiveless murder" - is the same, the causes of it can be different, as can how it manifests itself. The vices, of course can be anything - homosexuality, child molestation, and so on. And I hope all is well with your goodself. Nothing much is different this end!
                  Paul

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Hi

                    Originally posted by Paul View Post
                    Hi Stewart,
                    Yes, precisely. What Macnaghten seems to be saying - well, what Macnaghten does say - is that over-indulgence in vices can in some cases lead to a blood lust (otherwise "sexual mania") and killing for the joy of it. Whilst the end result - "motiveless murder" - is the same, the causes of it can be different, as can how it manifests itself. The vices, of course can be anything - homosexuality, child molestation, and so on. And I hope all is well with your goodself. Nothing much is different this end!
                    Paul
                    Hi Paul, what a pity that nothing is ever straightforward with these Victorian police officials.

                    I'm not too bad thanks, usual aches and pains. Busy week last week, filming for two Ripper TV documentaries on Monday and Tuesday (the second in London) and a chap named Skinner came to stay a day or two. Nice bloke, you may have heard of him. All the best, Stewart.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Has anybody come across any other homosexual described as sexually insane?

                      I'll have a look myself tomorrow, but I thought somebody might have researched such a reference already

                      Winslow and others described the Ripper as being subject to a monomania

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Hi Paul and all,

                        Honestly I agree with you that it’s fairly likely Macnaghten was referring to Druitt being a homosexual and/or engaging in homosexual vices, but as he was never more specific and as he was so far off base with so many of his other claims, I wouldn’t be too hasty to say that anything he said was a definite thing. It’s little more than an educated guess on the balance of probability

                        And IF Druitt was homosexual, and IF Macnaghten was using that in the case against him, then what we can be sure of is that the accusations were made on faulty grounds and that, even if it was the case and it can’t be denied that it’s a possibility, it has no relevance at all to the case for or against Druitt as the killer.

                        That’s as complex as the phrase “sexually insane” needs to be in reference to Druitt.

                        Incidentally, Nemo makes a good point about Walter's "My Secret Life" as well, if one wants an insight into Victorian era sexuality and terminology.

                        Cheers,
                        Adam.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Hi Adam

                          Paul has usefully quoted what Macnaghten actually said in his writings about his understanding of sexual insanity. We can speculate that personally he also used the term to cover homosexuality. It seems that what Macnaghten wrote publicly indicates that he understood that anyone who committed the types of murders and mutilations that the Ripper did must have been sexually insane because he did them for sexual pleasure (i.e., lust murder). This was a novel idea for a policeman to hold either when he wrote the Memorandum in 1894 or when he wrote his memoirs, Days of My Years, published in 1914. I think he is to be congratulated in taking this enlightened view, apparently based on his understanding of the latest thinking of experts such as Krafft-Ebing, though he doesn't credit them. One reason that I cited the opinions of Littlechild and Dr. Howard A. Kelly, which seem to come from a similar understanding, is that their view of the type of man who did the murders seemed to cover all manner of sexual perversity broader than what Macnaghten seems to have meant in his writings.

                          Best regards

                          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


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                            Hi Paul and all,

                            Honestly I agree with you that it’s fairly likely Macnaghten was referring to Druitt being a homosexual and/or engaging in homosexual vices, but as he was never more specific and as he was so far off base with so many of his other claims, I wouldn’t be too hasty to say that anything he said was a definite thing. It’s little more than an educated guess on the balance of probability

                            And IF Druitt was homosexual, and IF Macnaghten was using that in the case against him, then what we can be sure of is that the accusations were made on faulty grounds and that, even if it was the case and it can’t be denied that it’s a possibility, it has no relevance at all to the case for or against Druitt as the killer.

                            That’s as complex as the phrase “sexually insane” needs to be in reference to Druitt.

                            Incidentally, Nemo makes a good point about Walter's "My Secret Life" as well, if one wants an insight into Victorian era sexuality and terminology.

                            Cheers,
                            Adam.
                            Adam,
                            As said, Macnaghten does not appear to have intended any specific aberrant behaviour by the term "sexual maniac", by which he meant a "motiveless" murderer who killed because he enjoyed killing. He did say that a "sexual maniac" became one as a consequence of over-indulgence in "vices", which could have meant homosexual behaviour or anything else.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                              Hi Adam

                              Paul has usefully quoted what Macnaghten actually said in his writings about his understanding of sexual insanity. We can speculate that personally he also used the term to cover homosexuality. It seems that what Macnaghten wrote publicly indicates that he understood that anyone who committed the types of murders and mutilations that the Ripper did must have been sexually insane because he did them for sexual pleasure (i.e., lust murder). This was a novel idea for a policeman to hold either when he wrote the Memorandum in 1894 or when he wrote his memoirs, Days of My Years, published in 1914. I think he is to be congratulated in taking this enlightened view, apparently based on his understanding of the latest thinking of experts such as Krafft-Ebing, though he doesn't credit them. One reason that I cited the opinions of Littlechild and Dr. Howard A. Kelly, which seem to come from a similar understanding, is that their view of the type of man who did the murders seemed to cover all manner of sexual perversity broader than what Macnaghten seems to have meant in his writings.

                              Best regards

                              Chris
                              Chris,
                              I don't think they meant a broader range of sexual perversity than Macnaghten. Macnaghten said two things, (1) that over-indulgence in "vices" could lead to a blood-lust, and (2) that a "sexual maniac" lacked a conventional motive and killed for the pleasure it provided. Thus, he doesn't indicate the range and variety of sexual perversity or "vices" he had in mind at all.

                              And his point, of course, is that such motiveless murder wasn't widely or popularly understood outside the police, medical and legal professions (and probably not greatly understood within them, I'd have thought), which is what made them so difficult to detect and prove. It's also what makes it difficult for us, who are very familiar with the phenomena, to really understand the lay, over-simplistic descriptions given by men like Macnaghten, who, whilst knowing it existed and why, may not really have understood it very clearly themselves. But doctors and policemen evidently understood it.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Hi Paul

                                Thanks for clarifying Macnaghten's use of the term "sexual maniac" for Adam and myself once again. Most appreciated.

                                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

                                Working...
                                X