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Science from Hell: Jack the Ripper and Victorian Vivisection - Colin Milburn

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  • Science from Hell: Jack the Ripper and Victorian Vivisection - Colin Milburn

    Another link that may be of interest...

  • #2
    Wow - that's a fantastic article Chris, thanks for posting it
    It condenses a lotof what I found - and more - that may point toward a would-be vivisectionist being a valid candidate for the Ripper

    I love the statement...

    ...the hand of the vivisector has already been traced by the wounds themselves. The vivisectionist has become the absent subject of the scene of vivisection

    There's a lot to comment on in that article

    I didn't realise that 50% of letters received by the city police were suggesting an anatomist or vivisectionist as the miscreant

    I too link the Victorian vivisectionist not only with the surge of scientific knowledge and experimentation, but also with the prevalent literature, including some very questionable pornography


    • #3
      Very glad it's of use
      I haven't read the whole thing yet but there looks to be some interesting material in it
      Chris S


      • #4
        Dear Chris:

        I concur with the esteemed is an excellent article.

        I notice Jonathan Evans ( curator of the London Hospital archives ) mentioned.


        • #5
          The "Old Funk" letter / poem get's a mention

          I would recommend everybody reads this article as it gives great insights into what the Ripper may have been trying to achieve or project in the wounds he made and the state of the victims when found

          If all the dodgy witness statements and conjectures are put aside, we have what we truly know 100% about the Ripper, and it is all contained within the crime scene

          This is the best article I've seen that deals with these intricacies

          The notion that the Ripper uses his knife as a pen is intriguing and also the the diabolical nature of the crimes

          Also, the suggestion that the Openshaw letter poem / ditty describes the killer himself is interesting

          ie That the Ripper may have been of a scientific bent and analysed the organs at his leisure

          O have you seen the devle with his mikerscope and scalpul a-lookin at a kidney with a slide cocked up...


          • #6
            Thanks for posting that Chris, it is of particular interest to me, as is the "Old Funk" letter which seems to include some information about Bell Smith that did not emanate from Callaghan's statement (including his being 'mad on vivisection')



            • #7
              Hi Dave

              In my reading of the "Old Funk" letter, the writer is disputing the Callaghan lodger story/evidence as related by L Forbes Winslow in the press

              When he mentions the man "mad on vivisection" he is talking about his (the writer's) teacher/acquaintance who showed him some stuff related to killing / torturing animals

              He doesn't really add anything to the Callaghan story, he only seems to be admitting that he actually did know someone from Finsbury Square - though not the lodger in Winslow's theory




              • #8
                Hi Nemo,

                That's interesting - I assumed that part of the letter, as with the earlier part, was a reference to Bell Smith (an eccentric man living near Finsbury Square, dark with new teeth) but I see how it could be read otherwise.

                The other aspects that don't come from Callaghan's statement (living with an unmarried pair, and pocked mark'd disease on nose) are also in that section of the letter, so perhaps you are right.



                • #9
                  Hi Dave

                  I'm interested in any alternative explanation

                  I If I may direct you to this thread...

                  ...which gives my views on the letter / poem

                  I think you can see that the writer takes each point of Winslow's theory in relation to the lodger and disputes it, points such as the boots and clothes, the writings etc

                  The mention of Finsbury Square is the only point really in which he admits there is a tenuous connection

                  I'm not sure which version of the letter you are reading, but the text in Letters from Hell and Terry Lynch's book differ somewhat as illustrated on the thread above

                  Hope this helps