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Does "Sexually Insane" Mean Homosexual?

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  • #46
    Citing Macnaghten's definition of "sexual maniac" again was probably necessary Chris, but whether it was or not it is gratifying to know that it was nonetheless appreciated. However, sadly, I wasn't doing it. I was just pointing out that you said we can speculate on the possibility that by "sexual maniac" Macnaghten included homosexual, which indeed we can, but which he didn't mean. He may have thought homosexuality was a "vice" which led to madness (though as an Old Etonian it's improbable!), and Druitt may have been homosexual, but nothing Macnaghten says allows that inference. And also you said that you mentioned Littlechild and Kelly, whose range of sexual perversity was greater than Macnaghten's (which is badly put, but you know what I mean), which I'd suggest is also untrue given that he refers to them simply as "vices" without giving any indication of what or how many he meant. Both statement seemed to indicate to me that you still had it in mind that "sexual maniac" in itself meant specific aberrant bahviour, rather than an outcome or consequence of it.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Paul View Post
      Both statement seemed to indicate to me that you still had it in mind that "sexual maniac" in itself meant specific aberrant bahviour, rather than an outcome or consequence of it.
      Hi Paul

      Not to make an issue of this, isn't this rather a cart and horse discussion? Also despite Rob House parsing the meaning of "sexually insane" and "sexual maniac" aren't they in reality the same thing? It would seem to me that Macnaghten thought that the murders had to have been done by somebody who was unbalanced or insane and that they had a sexual motive. I believe that is what you wrote going by your expressed interpretation of his writings in your posts in this thread, correct?

      As I see it, the indications are that the idea of the day as expressed by Littlechild and Kelly was that the insanity came from some unmentioned or unmentionable sexual behavior that led to the lust murder. Although I have to say that from our perspective today that notion sounds rickety and outdated. It would seem more likely to me that the sexual vice was the release the murderer received in doing murder and mutilation not whatever lesser perceived vice these guys thought might have led to the murder, which seems to me faulty psychological theory much like the idea that smoking marijuana leads to heroin addiction.

      All the best

      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


      • #48
        Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
        which seems to me faulty psychological theory much like the idea that smoking marijuana leads to heroin addiction.

        All the best
        Chris
        Some might argue its the other way around. Modern Marijuana;s are so strong that psychosis is often considered a worse problem than heroin in its pure form.

        Lets face it no ones ever been murdered by someone high on heroin, only people trying to score the drug are dangerous.

        Marijuana psychosis is a major social problem.
        Yours Jeff

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Jeff Leahy View Post
          Lets face it no ones ever been murdered by someone high on heroin....
          errr... are you sure about that Jeff?


          kindly

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

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Phil Carter View Post
            errr... are you sure about that Jeff?


            kindly

            Phil
            I cant give it as an absolute...but have you ever seen someone high on heronin?

            They're basically out of it in an internal dream world, pretty harmless

            Heronin is an opiate

            Yours Jeff

            Comment


            • #51
              Indeed, thanks to both Chris G and Paul for your insights into Macnaghten and his terminology. Very useful and sensible.

              Once again we are left lamenting the fact that Macnaghten wasn't more specific in stating who or what he got his alleged information from.

              I still think that there might have been an element of notoriety or $$$ behind it, particularly the publication of his memoirs in 1914. As I stated on the other Druitt thread, I've researched some Australian newspaper clippings regarding a visit he made here a short time before his retirement and subsequent publication of his memoirs, and he was specifically asked the question about JTR's identity and refused to be drawn on it at all, despite the fact that we now know exactly what his theories were from many years before that.

              Maybe the attention was infectious.

              Cheers,
              Adam.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                Hi Paul

                Not to make an issue of this, isn't this rather a cart and horse discussion? Also despite Rob House parsing the meaning of "sexually insane" and "sexual maniac" aren't they in reality the same thing? It would seem to me that Macnaghten thought that the murders had to have been done by somebody who was unbalanced or insane and that they had a sexual motive. I believe that is what you wrote going by your expressed interpretation of his writings in your posts in this thread, correct?

                As I see it, the indications are that the idea of the day as expressed by Littlechild and Kelly was that the insanity came from some unmentioned or unmentionable sexual behavior that led to the lust murder. Although I have to say that from our perspective today that notion sounds rickety and outdated. It would seem more likely to me that the sexual vice was the release the murderer received in doing murder and mutilation not whatever lesser perceived vice these guys thought might have led to the murder, which seems to me faulty psychological theory much like the idea that smoking marijuana leads to heroin addiction.

                All the best

                Chris
                Hi Chris,
                Not wanting to make an issue of this either, but I disagree with Rob's suggestion that "sexually insane" and "sexual maniac" mean different things, thus I think Macnaghten's explanation of “sexual maniac” as someone who lacks the conventional and expected motives and kills for pleasure is applicable to Druitt, from which it is also clear that whilst Macnaghten seems to have thought that the mania evolved from over-indulgence in “vices”, “sexual maniac” clearly wasn't a euphemism for homosexual and cannot be used as evidence that Druitt was homosexual. As for Macnaghten's understanding of the psychology behind this, I'd suggest that he is saying no more than that aberrant behaviour can escalate as the excitement derived from 'a' pales and one moves on to 'b', then 'c' and so on until ultimately to murder and mutilation. Doesn't that thinking still underlay our understanding of many serial killers and such today?

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
                  Indeed, thanks to both Chris G and Paul for your insights into Macnaghten and his terminology. Very useful and sensible.

                  Once again we are left lamenting the fact that Macnaghten wasn't more specific in stating who or what he got his alleged information from.

                  I still think that there might have been an element of notoriety or $$$ behind it, particularly the publication of his memoirs in 1914. As I stated on the other Druitt thread, I've researched some Australian newspaper clippings regarding a visit he made here a short time before his retirement and subsequent publication of his memoirs, and he was specifically asked the question about JTR's identity and refused to be drawn on it at all, despite the fact that we now know exactly what his theories were from many years before that.

                  Maybe the attention was infectious.

                  Cheers,
                  Adam.
                  Adam,
                  He refused to be drawn "before his retirement" but aired clearly personal and non-specific conclusions after he'd retired and was no longer an official representative of the Met. That probably supplies your answer about his refusal to be drawn.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    I don't mean to be overly argumentative here, but I still do not really understand your position Paul.

                    The memorandum was an internal police document, an official document if you will. It was not a memoir or anything like that. In it Macnaghten states:

                    "I may mention the cases of 3 men, any one of whom would have been more likely than Cutbush to have committed this series of murders:"

                    This clearly means that these were three suspects... but that none of them was known to have been the killer. At least this is the context in which the above statement is made.

                    He then lists:

                    "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."

                    You are saying that "sexually insane" meant that he "killed for the joy of killing." If you simply substitute that definition in the context of the above statement, it makes the entirety of the memorandum quite absurd. For example:

                    "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 a man who killed for the joy of killing and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer."

                    Is this really what you are claiming that Macnaghten meant by using the phrase "sexually insane" in this context.

                    Respectfully,
                    Rob House

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Paul:

                      Well as I mentioned, when he toured Australia, he was as good as retired from the force - in fact if I remember rightly he virtually returned from his trip and then made it official. Furthermore it was decades after the fact and there wasn't even so much as a hint, along the lines of "we did have our suspicions but were unable to find evidence to support an arrest."

                      Besides, we know that privately he was more than willing to communicate with others about his theories relating to the case.

                      Perhaps i'm being cynical - and I don't have the Australian press reports on hand to illustrate my point, though I will try to dig them up again at some point - but it just reeks of personal glory/$$$ to me. Just my opinion though.

                      Cheers,
                      Adam.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Macnaghten

                        Originally posted by Rob House View Post
                        ...
                        This clearly means that these were three suspects... but that none of them was known to have been the killer. At least this is the context in which the above statement is made.
                        He then lists:
                        "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."
                        You are saying that "sexually insane" meant that he "killed for the joy of killing." If you simply substitute that definition in the context of the above statement, it makes the entirety of the memorandum quite absurd. For example:
                        "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 a man who killed for the joy of killing and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer."
                        Is this really what you are claiming that Macnaghten meant by using the phrase "sexually insane" in this context.
                        Respectfully,
                        Rob House
                        What Macnaghten wrote was, clearly, subjective and based on his own knowledge of Druitt and the suspicions harboured by others about him (as far as they went) and his own interpretation.

                        But, I think that you make a good point here Rob, because the 'sexually insane' description is applied here to Druitt in 1894 and he is described as suspected only (with no hard evidence against him) and not as a known maniac. Therefore, as you say, he was not known in 1894 to actually be a sexual maniac killing for pleasure. This, of course, would also account for the softer 'sexually insane' description being used.

                        Many years later, of course, Macnaghten's suspicions seem to have hardened and he appears to have convinced himself that Druitt was a sexual maniac who killed for the joy of killing. I fear this is another point of contention upon which no consensus of opinion will be reached.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          I agree. Contemporaneous text, such as what was cited by me earlier in this thread by Edward Mann, does not suggest that 'sexual insanity' included murder for sexual gratification, but simply an abhorrent sexual proclivity of some form. In 1894, Macnaghten seems be referring to one of the conditions that made Druitt a candidate for a 'lust murderer'.

                          What form of 'sexual insanity' he had in mind is, indeed, not specified. Macnaghten may not have known exactly what condition of 'sexual insanity' Druitt was supposed to have possessed. Considering the inaccuracies, he may have gotten all of this information second hand or by hearsay, without specific details. In his draft document ( Yes, I believe that is what it was) he says merely 'alleged' to be sexually insane. He drops the alleged from the official document, but that may be an effort to give it more weight; something more definitive.

                          He plays fast and loose with such terms.

                          Besides what he suggests for the path to lunacy for Kosminski, he describes Ostrog as a 'homicidal lunatic', but if he had studied Ostrog's record, he would have known that the man displayed no real homicidal traits and there were several police officials involved with Ostrog who believed he was faking lunacy. There's no evidence that Ostrog had any medical training; rather that he was a charlatan posing in that profession. Either Macnaghten was unaware of Ostrog's record or he was padding the bill to make him more plausible. Both are reprehensible if proposing someone as a candidate for a serial murderer. And, I don't believe for one minute he was throwing Ostrog in as filler. He had made inquiries about him as soon as he joined the Met Police.

                          He also said 'many homicidal maniacs were suspected.'

                          Ironically, he inadvertently makes a better case for Cutbush to be 'sexually insane' than for the conditions asserted in his three suspects.
                          Best Wishes,
                          Cris Malone
                          ______________________________________________
                          "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Rob House View Post
                            I don't mean to be overly argumentative here, but I still do not really understand your position Paul.

                            The memorandum was an internal police document, an official document if you will. It was not a memoir or anything like that. In it Macnaghten states:

                            "I may mention the cases of 3 men, any one of whom would have been more likely than Cutbush to have committed this series of murders:"

                            This clearly means that these were three suspects... but that none of them was known to have been the killer. At least this is the context in which the above statement is made.

                            He then lists:

                            "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."

                            You are saying that "sexually insane" meant that he "killed for the joy of killing." If you simply substitute that definition in the context of the above statement, it makes the entirety of the memorandum quite absurd. For example:

                            "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 a man who killed for the joy of killing and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer."

                            Is this really what you are claiming that Macnaghten meant by using the phrase "sexually insane" in this context.

                            Respectfully,
                            Rob House
                            Rob,
                            Forgive me, but I'm really not up to getting involved in a debate about what initially was simply my attempt to be helpful by pointing out how Macnagten defined “sexual maniac”. I did not expect to become embroiled in what appears to me to be an improbable proposition that “sexual maniac” is not interchangeable with sexually insane, still less to find myself expected to defend one or other position. I am open and happy to be persuaded that “sexually insane” meant something else, but as yet I haven't seen a persuasive argument that that was the case. As for your substitution of “He was a man who killed for the joy of killing...” for “sexually insane”, I think you are applying too narrow or a too precise definition to a term which, at least as far as Macnaghten's definition of “sexual maniac” is concerned, means no more than the general concept of somebody who killed without the usual and expected motives, a phenomena Macnaghten said was largely beyond the comprehension of people outside the legal and medical professions of the time. He was trying with gentlemanly delicacy to explain that some murders were committed by people who derived pleasure and satisfaction from blood, killing, and, I assume from his citing of Nero and Eastern potentates watching slaves killed or torn apart by animals, from the infliction of pain and the sight of suffering. So, if you want to insert, “He was a man who liked the sight of pain and suffering and from private information I have little doubt...” then you might be a little nearer to what Macnaghten was trying to say about Druitt.

                            Paul

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Valid Points

                              I think that both Paul and Rob make valid points, which only emphasises my view that no consensus of opinion is likely to be reached on this vexed issue.

                              It is, perhaps, worth noting that no other police officer, other than Macnaghten, ever suggested that Druitt was the Ripper. In the 'Aberconway version' Macnaghten states 'it was alleged that he was sexually insane.' This is indicative of Macnaghten's information being only hearsay and lacking substantive proof. He also indicates that his belief in this solution developed, as opposed from being formed at the outset, when he states, 'Personally, after much careful & deliberate consideration, I am inclined to exonerate the last 2, but I have always held strong opinions regarding no 1, and the more I think the matter over, the stronger do these opinions become. The truth, however, will never be known, and did indeed, at one time lie at the bottom of the Thames, if my conjections be correct.'

                              I think that this clearly illustrates Macnaghten's subjectivity on the matter of Druitt's guilt, his lack of any evidence, and the gradual development of his belief.

                              As far as Macnaghten's information is concerned, we do not know its precise nature and we do not know its exact source. But given what he said it is clearly, at best, only hearsay. There is no evidence whatsoever to confirm Macnaghten's statement that Druitt was 'sexually insane', nor to indicate why he believed that. We have no surviving record of any sort of offence, violent, assaulting women, homosexual acts, etc., whatever, by Druitt.

                              It, therefore, appears that Macnaghten was writing from second hand information only, based on the belief of another/others that Druitt was insane and not backed by any incriminating evidence. That is the best we have. Whatever conclusions are reached from this basic information are, really, pretty weak. And, unfortunately, Macnaghten chose not to share his 'private information' with history, thus leaving the field free for speculation and theorising. There must also be the possibility, accepting that the 'Aberconway version' of his memorandum was a draft, that he later added to it as it remained in his possession and was not destroyed when he retired.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Imprecise

                                Originally posted by Paul View Post
                                ...
                                He was trying with gentlemanly delicacy to explain that some murders were committed by people who derived pleasure and satisfaction from blood, killing, and, I assume from his citing of Nero and Eastern potentates watching slaves killed or torn apart by animals, from the infliction of pain and the sight of suffering. So, if you want to insert, “He was a man who liked the sight of pain and suffering and from private information I have little doubt...” then you might be a little nearer to what Macnaghten was trying to say about Druitt.
                                Paul
                                I think that it is the very imprecise and 'delicate' prose of Macnaghten that really confuses the issue and leaves his words open to more than one interpretation.

                                If we look at Littlechild's words, significantly of the same vintage as Macnaghten's (1913), then we may see a different interpretation is possible. In respect of homosexual acts Littlechild cites two cases of high-profile apparent bi-sexuals, Oscar Wilde and Harry Thaw. Littlechild states, 'It is very strange how those given to "Contrary sexual instinct" and degenerates" are given to cruelty, even Wilde liked to be punched about.' In respect of Thaw he stated the case of Thaw indulging in sadistic cruelty on a hotel call boy whom Thaw had strip, strapped to the bed and thrashed (drawing blood), afterwards making the boy get into a bath containing salty water.

                                It could be thus hypothesised that Druitt's dismissal from Valentine's school for 'serious trouble' may have been such acts with a schoolboy(s) and that Macnaghten had been told the exact nature of his dismissal. This question might be resolved, one way or the other, one day, if Valentine's papers are found and if they mention the matter.

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