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Liz Jackson & the 'plugging'

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  • Liz Jackson & the 'plugging'

    Debs mentioned that she would be interested in any other uses for the wadding that was found in Elizabeth Jackson, and I came across this recently:

    'My girlfriend had hers surgically fixed as she had a few fissures after her 1st childs birth & due to healing & scarring her anus shrunk or something & she could not get poo out!

    Once she called her own Mum in teras as she had sat stuck on the loo for over an hour trying to ease it out but it apparently felt like it was coming outsideways.

    After the surgery she was told to soak in a wram tub of salt & remove the wadding they had filled her with to stretch her anus.... '2' Safeway bags full of wadding!!!'

    This is really not my area of expertise, but isn't the implication here that such wadding might have been employed in such a manner as described to prevent internal damage during childbirth?

  • #2
    Thanks AP,
    First off, this sounds like a problem the woman concerned had as a result of a previous birth and had undergone an operation, hence the wadding to aid the stretching.
    I've never come across it being used in childbirth before, but as we are dealing with the Victorian era here, there may something in what you say, however, if elizabeth had died during childbirth, what would have been the point of disposing of her body the way it was done?

    Here's an overview of the Elizabeth Jackson murder, written by me some time ago, for anyone wondering what we are talking about here!



    And here is the finding we are discussing:

    On the Saturday afternoon the buttocks and the bony pelvis, with all the organs missing, were picked up near Battersea steam boat pier. These parts were all found to correspond with other parts found among the first discoveries at Horselydown a few days earlier. The bladder was said to have been cut through in the pubic arch. According to the Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper of Sunday 9th June, a strange discovery was made on examining the buttocks closer. A fine piece of linen, approximately 9.5in. by 8in., possibly a handkerchief, was found rolled up and pushed into the back passage.

    I came across reference to this type of 'plugging' being used in abortion practices from a Victorian medical jurisprudence book, I haven't time to dig it back out at the moment, but I can post the reference later.

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    • #3
      It might also be worth mentioning this;

      The criminal act of destroying the foetus at any time before birth is termed in law, 'procuring miscarriage'.
      Elizabeth was between 6 and 7 months pregnant, according to Bond and Hebbert's published autopsy notes. The papers reported she was anything between 6 to 8 months pregnant.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
        A fine piece of linen, approximately 9.5in. by 8in., possibly a handkerchief, was found rolled up and pushed into the back passage.
        Man, I might be alone in the end zone here but all of a sudden there seems to be a lot of "stuffing" going on. Over the years I've never picked up on this angle but now it's a lightning bolt lighting up the sky.

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        • #5
          Well, Sir Robert, with both Debs and my good self around you weren't expecting dull moments were you?
          Right, I've got to go and burn the Houses of Parliament down.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by A.P. Wolf View Post
            Well, Sir Robert, with both Debs and my good self around you weren't expecting dull moments were you?
            I am wondering if Jack and the Torso Dude (assuming they are different people) were preshadowing the Dadaist readymades. Maybe the real answer is that this was all performance art belched up from Hades.

            We're looking for Sex while they were creating Art. Just as the Dadaists were a response to the horrors of trench warfare, these are creations referencing the life in and of the East End.

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            • #7
              I think, Sir Robert, I would prefer the term 'grafitti' to describe the activity of these LVP murderers, in that they enjoyed the public display of what they did without enjoying the cult of personality.
              In other words they were shadows that you never saw, but when you woke up in the morning their work of art was splattered across everything you knew and was familiar to you, but it had been touched by the shadows while you slept.
              Not art. Nightmares.

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              • #8
                Debs, thought this might interest you, for it shows that following a botched abortion, the abortionists appeared more than willing to cut up and mutilate the body, in this case removing the head and a lot more besides. From The Times July 12th 1886:

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                • #9
                  AP, thanks, I have mentioned before the case of Dr. Nancy Guilford too, who did a similar thing after killing a woman she had performed an abortion on.

                  I'll still never understand why though, that the foetus was removed from Elizabeth's uterus after death, but they left other evidence of pregnancy within the uterus, ie the placenta and cord.

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