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Images & Possible Effects on Contemporary Minds

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  • Images & Possible Effects on Contemporary Minds

    While not really a forensics issue....I thought it might be best to post this here.

    Birmingham Daily Post
    September 15, 1888
    ****************



    While reading papers from back in the day, one encounters articles featuring someone sounding the alarm at the images being presented to the public.

    While some of us in 2011 might dismiss this as being slightly over the top..there are instances when we find someone from back in the LVP attributing their crimes in part to literature or images in books. I can recall at least two incidents where children emulated the Ripper and put the blade to another child and killed them.

    Put yourself in the shoes of a 1888 man or woman...and if you have the time, explain what you think those images which appeared in newspapers or in other venues could do to a twisted mind or someone on the edge.

    Thanks
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  • #2
    Hi How,

    That's an interesting point you are making.

    Off the top of my head, there were complaints made about the posters for Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and indeed about the play itself for similar reasons. Several other similar complaints come to mind on the same sort of subject as you make.
    Dave
    "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."

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    • #3
      DJ:

      Thanks for the response....and a good point about Mansfield. Again, thanks buddy.

      One of the primary reasons I started the thread had to do with Mansfield. I didn't add a brief snippet to the Birmingham newspaper archive I've been working on...but ran across the article on this thread simultaneously.

      I imagined Mansfield's "Jekyll & Hyde" being performed at the Lyceum or any other theater...in another year, a year free of a murder skein,certainly anything like the WM....and thinking that his performance(s) in this "other" year would probably have been held up as one of the pinnacles of thespian achievement by us in 2011...and without the stigma of a social event which actually caused Mansfield to call it quits. Although aficionados of the theater probably do hold it in that regard, most rank and file people do not know that the play was cancelled due to that "other" parallel social event.

      Several times while reading the papers from the period, I know others have, as I have, read accounts of witnesses to criminal behavior mentioning or testifying in court that so and so was perturbed after reading accounts of the WM...not only youth, but adult men...and the women who were said to have been so alarmed and/or despondent about the murders, that they committed suicide.

      I also imagined attending a performance of J&H by Mansfield..and walking out into the night air afterwards while the Whitechapel Murderer was still at large. While Sir Robert Anderson, smugly in my view, stated in retrospect that no one, save women of a certain strata, had anything to fear from the Ripper, those in London obviously had no idea one way or the other that women from a certain strata would ultimately be the only known victims.

      On the other hand, we know or ought to be aware that there are dozens of instances where men appropriated the trade name, Jack The Ripper, and threatened their women or someone else's woman privately and publicly ( in bars, on the street, etc) with violence..."I'll do ye like the Ripper"...."I'll do a Jack the Ripper on you.."

      So I can understand the concerns that people had in 1888. Its just a shame in a sense that Mansfield's brilliance had to coincide with the WM.
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      • #4
        Dave:

        Not only is the victim surname eerily similar to a WM victim's...but look at the repeated threats :

        Birmingham Daily Post
        September 25, 1888
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        • #5
          Birmingham Daily Post
          September 26, 1888
          ******************

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          • #6
            1886-1888.

            Originally posted by How Brown View Post
            Put yourself in the shoes of a 1888 man or woman...and if you have the time, explain what you think those images which appeared in newspapers or in other venues could do to a twisted mind or someone on the edge.

            Thanks
            Associated with the very clear duality of Stevenson's 'Strange Case', they may have reinforced a rationalization of a murderers acts, as his need would be. That would be my guess. I suppose it's possible, also, that the story as such may have played some part in building the fantasy leading up to actually stepping over the edge, at the time of the play. In the autumn of 1888 more than two years had, after all, passed since the publishing of the first edition.
            (*V*)

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