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The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper's Women (Rubenhold, February 2019)

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  • With the Music Hall Ladies Guild, Vulcana, and the fairly oddballish characters of Cora and Ethel...sorry to buck the trend here, but this book could be good.

    JM

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    • Originally posted by JMenges View Post
      With the Music Hall Ladies Guild, Vulcana, and the fairly oddballish characters of Cora and Ethel...sorry to buck the trend here, but this book could be good.

      JM
      I'm looking forward to it.

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      • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
        I'm looking forward to it.
        I am too.

        JM

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        • Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
          I'm sure it will be a best cellar.
          V. Good, Mr L

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          • The trouble is that even if it is good, will it be trustworthy? The Five wasn't, so one's expectations for the Crippen book can't be high. I've never been particularly interested in the Crippen case, so I won't know enough about it to judge Rubenhold's book. Past experience argues that somewhere I'll be led up the proverbial gardens.

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            • In this instance though she can rightly make the case that the women’s stories have, in books anyway, not been examined in any great detail. Focusing primarily on the women who were friends of Cora’s and did report their suspicions and aided in the investigation in London and in New York, as well as Cora’s sisters in the US who had their own suspicions...it will be a new approach. If the best thing about ‘The Five’ was context, then a deeper study of the music hall and vaudevillian social circles in which Cora Crippen moved would be welcomed, by me at least. If it is well-researched then it’s bound to contain new information. Let’s hope so.

              JM

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              • Originally posted by JMenges View Post
                In this instance though she can rightly make the case that the women’s stories have, in books anyway, not been examined in any great detail. Focusing primarily on the women who were friends of Cora’s and did report their suspicions and aided in the investigation in London and in New York, as well as Cora’s sisters in the US who has their own suspicions...it will be a new approach. If the best thing about ‘The Five’ was context, then a deeper study of the music hall and vaudevillian social circles in which Cora Crippen moved would be welcomed, by me at least. If it is well-researched then it’s bound to contain new information. Let’s hope so.

                JM
                I'm not in any way opposed to the approach. It's her factual accuracy, interpretation of source data, treatment of sources, and her inclusion of material even if it runs counter to her theories that are open to serious doubt, and I don't know enough about the case to judge that. You probably are.

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                • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
                  She appears to have no issue with the image of the killer wandering along Hanbury Street checking for unlocked doors. He then goes through the passageway to the backdoor which luckily is also unlocked. And all this on the off chance of finding a woman sleeping in a backyard!
                  Michael-- I'm not defending Rubenhold's theory, but couldn't these same objections be raised in relation to Annie Chapman?

                  John Richardson reported at the inquest that he shut the front door to No. 29 on leaving. So how did Annie know it would be unlocked and that it would be appropriate/safe to take a punter through the passage and into the back yard? And that the backyard door would also be unlocked?

                  Do you envision Chapman, with her client in tow, rattling doorknobs down the length of Hanbury Street, or do you theorize she had a previous association with this specific address, or, in other words, that it was her "normal" patch?

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                  • Concerning the Ripper or any other criminal testing doors to see which might be unlocked is, IMO, fanciful.

                    Contemporary sources ranging from the Lipski trial to a few news articles, described how the many houses in the area had been turned into rooming houses with open front and back doors. Open front doors so tenants could come and go as needed and back doors for access to privies.

                    For decades authors had made much of JtR's miraculous escape abilities. Some news reports at the time described the ease of criminal escape through the unlocked front and back doors of rooming houses. This is one reason why I am so sure JtR was a local fellow who knew every inch of his environment. He knew what doors he could enter and exit, which backyards accessed other streets and alleys. A good question is how many dwellings did Jack enter and exit on his way from Mitre Square and was the Wentworth Building just one more of them? Was that why he left--if he did--a piece of apron and writing? Sure, police would search the building, but before their lanterns fully illuminated his souvenirs, he was probably out the back door and across the backyard if any.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                    • There's been any number of psychotic killers who simply went through unlocked doors and windows and started killing people. Richard Chase and Richard Ramirez to name two.

                      I would think someone like that would more likely be a 'local' than someone who is picking up women in the streets and having them lead him to a lonely location...

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                      • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                        Michael-- I'm not defending Rubenhold's theory, but couldn't these same objections be raised in relation to Annie Chapman?

                        John Richardson reported at the inquest that he shut the front door to No. 29 on leaving. So how did Annie know it would be unlocked and that it would be appropriate/safe to take a punter through the passage and into the back yard? And that the backyard door would also be unlocked?

                        Do you envision Chapman, with her client in tow, rattling doorknobs down the length of Hanbury Street, or do you theorize she had a previous association with this specific address, or, in other words, that it was her "normal" patch?
                        I assume Annie Chapman must have had a previous association with 29 Hanbury Street whether she knew it as a place she could sleep undisturbed or as a place she could take a paying customer. It's improbable that she went down Hanbury Street trying each door as she went, don't you think? And if I recall correctly, it's also not the picture HR painted. She portrays Chapman as being relieved that her sleeping place was vacant.

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                        • At the risk of annoying the heck out of everyone, I did notice that there was a Ripper scare in July 1889 on the Isle of Sheppey when a man attacked a woman who was sleeping outdoors.

                          Annie Mortley, an agricultural laborer, was minding her own business, sleeping in a field with her infant, when an ex-soldier and tramp named George Cooper came across her and for no apparent reason tried to cut her head off--or at least slit her throat.

                          Mortley screamed and survived; Cooper was captured and sent to Broadmoor. Asked about the crime, he had no explanation, other than saying that it was something he had long contemplated doing.
                          Attached Files

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                          • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                            There's been any number of psychotic killers who simply went through unlocked doors and windows and started killing people. Richard Chase and Richard Ramirez to name two.

                            I would think someone like that would more likely be a 'local' than someone who is picking up women in the streets and having them lead him to a lonely location...
                            Yes, but did they go down a street trying the doors and windows of the properties they passed or did they spy an open door or window and take advantage of it?

                            A local person may have known that the door to 29 was always unlocked, but why would he have gone through to the yard unless he knew that a woman was likely asleep there? And if women slept there so frequently that a murderer went there in the belief that there was a fair chance he'd find someone to kill, isn't it likely that John Richardson would have had a better look around rather than just glance at the padlocked cellar door to satisfy himself that it was secure?

                            Of course, I suppose the killer could have followed Annie Chapman there.

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                            • Originally posted by Paul View Post
                              I assume Annie Chapman must have had a previous association with 29 Hanbury Street whether she knew it as a place she could sleep undisturbed or as a place she could take a paying customer. It's improbable that she went down Hanbury Street trying each door as she went, don't you think? And if I recall correctly, it's also not the picture HR painted. She portrays Chapman as being relieved that her sleeping place was vacant.
                              From what I recall, Rubenhold didn't even attempt an explanation. She simply had Chapman getting tossed to the streets in the wee hours. The next we hear, Annie is found dead in the backyard of No. 29.

                              I think it is fair to say that R 'cooked the books,' because she made no attempt to mention Cadosche, Richardson, or Elizabeth Long--all of whom would have been detrimental to her 'narrative.'

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                              • In my opinion, the Ripper took the women to spots HE knew and where he felt comfortable and knew all the exits. I can't think of a serial killer case where the killer asked his victim where she wanted to go. Too much risk that way.

                                I still think Liz was killed so quickly and not further damaged because he had asked her to go away and she had said no. IMO either she knew him or he planned another kill that night and didn't need Lix blabbing about a fellow she rejected earlier.

                                So, when I ponder who was JtR I consider the murder sites as his territory. Polly Nichols, killed right on the street, could be an exception. Before someone brings up Mary's room, I think the killer must have known enough about her premises to feel comfortable going there. Unless we blame Barnett or Hutchinson or others who knew Mary, her room would not have been a real comfort zone for the killer but I bet he knew enough about her and her room that he felt some ease and safety being therein.
                                The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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