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Who Led the Way?

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  • Who Led the Way?

    It has been written many times that JtR's victims were soliciting and they led him to spots of their choosing to consummate sex acts. For a variety of reasons I rejected this idea quite some time ago, with the exception of Mary Kelly who must surely have taken a man into her room for immoral purposes. (Slight chance he entered on his own but she probably invited him in.)

    A big reason I reject the women leading the way is because serial killing has a lot to do with control and it doesn't make sense to me that Jack would want to be led to a private area where the victim felt in control or possibly had a boyfriend or companion nearby.

    I believe Jack chose places where HE felt secure and I have an idea that at least after Polly he chose places where there was LIGHT of some kind. Polly Nichols was an odd case, like she was just attacked and left on the street. One of the first men who found her said he didn't see any blood because it was so dark. Drawings of that area don't seem to show any street lights, etc. (I am aware that this man was probably Cross/Lechmere and he didn't have to see anything because he did it.)

    In my thinking Jack acted out on Polly for whatever reason and thought he could do better and enjoy it more if he refined his actions.

    We argue whether or not the next victim Annie was killed about dawn when the sun was beginning to come up. I have always favoured an earlier time but in considering LIGHT, it makes sense she was killed near dawn in a fairly open back yard.

    I will always believe Broad Shoulder Man wanted Liz to go away with him and she said no, three times but not very loud. I think she knew him. Maybe he gave her some cachous (or not), and asked her to go with him. He even pulled on her arm. I bet he had a good spot picked out where there would be sufficient LIGHT but she wouldn't go. He couldn't kill her in the street and the yard was too dark. What I think happened is she retreated into the yard and he followed shortly and killed her so she wouldn't identify him. He couldn't do more because it was so dark. Deimschutz had to strike a match to see that it was even a body.

    The attack on Kate was well choreographed, avoiding the police beats and near a gas light where Jack could see well enough to indulge himself more than before. (Personally, the area seemed too well lighted for a prostitute to choose it for a sex act.)

    I also believe Mrs. Lewis' testimony about the creepy man, who I think was very likely Jack, asking her and her sister to follow him. In her inquest version the women ran away. In the Mrs. Kennedy version the two women followed him and he wanted to take one of them down a dark passage. Perhaps there was a lighted yard at the end of that dark passage. At any rate the man was leading the way.

    We know there were candles and a fire at Mary's. By that time I think there was so much pressure on Jack he mostly needed a safe place to do what he did. He had time to do horrible things but he also had LIGHT so see what he was doing. He was the most creative that night. Abberline suggested the burned clothing was for the purpose of light but as many of us have noted, clothing does not burn very good and a better suggestion is he was covering the fire. There were still candles and maybe Jack had a candle or two in his pocket.

    There are too few incidents and some interfering considerations to absolutely support my theory one way or another, but some questions come to mind. If he planned to lead Liz to a fairly private place with a light, could we guess where that might have been in relation to Dutfield's Yard? Does that make any suggestion about Jack's identity? If Jack chose the backyard in Hanbury St. then HE was familiar with that spot. How & why? If he killed Annie close to dawn, he must have believed he could extricate himself if he was seen with the body. I think a lot of the rented rooms in the area may not have had the benefit of a fireplace or a candle, or the tenants, many times, could not have afforded fuel or candles. Could the LIGHT sources have encouraged Jack to choose Mary and her room? How well planned and pre-planned were Jack's crimes? Perhaps very well planned.
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

  • #2
    Good discussion starter, Anna. Thanks...

    I think that there isn't any way to determine who chose Bucks Row. Its possible one or the other believed the stable yard was accessible.
    Upon realizing it wasn't, IMHO the Ripper, if he had had a plan, ditched it and commenced to murdering her....he couldn't control his urge to kill...which might explain why we're puzzled with the site ( the pavement ) the murder was committed upon.

    We have to remember that Polly had more experience in prostitution and all that it entails,( i.e. more knowledge of sites to select), than her killer.
    More later....
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    • #3
      The man who slept on the stairs in Chapman's case.


      • #4

        Hello Scott. Precisely.



        • #5
          Do you believe that BS Man was Jack, Anna? I do have a bit of a problem with that, in that BS Man's behaviour seems very blatant for that individual. He began a squabble with a woman in a public street, tries to pull her into the street, didn't seem to care, (if we believe Schwartz), that passers by could see him, and didn't mind knocking down a woman in front of others (Schwartz and Pipe man.)

          Incidentally, I've always found it a bit odd that BS Man just went up to this female and attacked her, didn't say anything to her DURING the attack, (as far as we know) not even a "Come here, b----h!" and she didn't reply, not a "Go away!" or "Get off me!" or anything, while this man starts pulling her and knocking her to the ground. Just a couple of low screams. I know these women were used to rough treatment from men but that does appear to be a trifle on the passive side!

          Also, having received that treatment and picked herself up, the last place I think Liz would be retreating into, as a frightened female, would be a Yard that was deserted and as black as the ace of spades. I would surely try, even if I had to scream my head off while doing it, to get into the street where there was some light, passers by and a pub opposite. Also, hasn't it been speculated that Stride was in the act leaving the Yard, clutching her cachous, when she was attacked and killed?

          I have to confess that I do just wonder, even if the timelines are whisker thin, if Schwartz came upon a domestic incident, nothing to do with Jack, and BS Man was nothing more than an enraged, violent boyfriend, and the woman not Liz. (I know Schwartz is said to have identified Liz as the woman he saw, but I do wonder.) If this was a domestic and the man and woman traced, then that would explain why Schwartz wasn't called to the Stride Inquest and why the loquacious Coroner Baxter made no reference to the incident during the proceedings.


          • #6
            I do agree that the Polly Nichols murder is slightly different to the others in that Jack attacked and killed in an open thoroughfare, deserted and very dark but still a public street. I do think that he came by Polly through pure chance.

            I have this theory, completely unbacked by any evidence, that the reddened skies, due to the terrible fires at the docks, set Jack off that night. He came upon Polly, who, hoping for a few pennies for a bed, may have walked along with him a little looking for a dark spot for business. I do think that if Browns stable yard had been open Polly's body would have been found in there. I agree that when it was found locked Jack couldn't wait any longer and just attacked and killed, fulfilling his fantasies. Even if Martha Tabram was his first he was still a very inexperienced killer.

            With Annie Chapman's murder people were beginning to stir in the houses in Hanbury St, but I think that location was chosen possibly because it and neighbouring houses had unlocked street doors and stairs that could be used as dosses and for other purposes. This was probably well known locally by both men and women.

            Perhaps there were noises of people moving about in the rooms, so Annie and Jack went out into the yard. However, he took a risk here too as it was only by chance that Mrs Richardson's workman, who used the cellar at 29, was late for work that morning. It was however reasonably light in the yard and there were fences to each side he could jump over to escape if he had to.

            Each murder made him bolder IMO. I think by Stride's murder he was probably feeling omnipotent. Of course he was thwarted on that occasion but being near a lighted occupied kitchen and a side door that could be used by club members at any moment didn't phase him.

            I think Jack may have found Kate walking around the foreground of St Botolph's, a well known area if a gal wanted a few pennies for a drink and a bed. I just don't go for the theory of the early morning appointment in Mitre Square.

            It's debatable surely, that there was sufficient light to kill by in Mitre Square? There were only a few light sources around in that Square and none were near the empty houses and Mr Taylor's where Kate was found. How much light did these lamps outside Kearley and Tonge's and Williams and Co. cast, anyway? A restricted distance at best.

            It would be tempting to think that Jack carried a candle and some kind of receptacle to stick it in while he worked. This of course would increase the risk as an inquisitive Morris or others could have investigated the pinpoint of light but I don't think Jack cared really.

            The light needed at Mary's place could have been provided by a large fire. I've argued with several people about clothing used as fuel on fires and some have said that it smothers flames and causes smoke and others have stated that if clothing is placed on a fire an item at a time then it burns quite nicely.

            I've gone backwards and forwards on this, but I have come to the conclusion that a blazing fire for just a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes (if clothing does burn) would provide enough light and a bit of heat for Ripper purposes, certainly more than Mary Kelly's penny candle or any candle he was carrying himself would provide.


            • #7
              Curryong: One thing I have learned from forums and all the great ongoing research is that nothing is for sure. There are excellent arguments for many different ways of looking at things. We always bring our own experiences, knowledge and attitudes into our understandings. If there was one right answer we wouldn't have a mystery. Some insist Liz wasn't a Ripper victim and those points make sense too.

              The pattern I think I see is that Jack was in some way mentally imbalanced, whether it was a diagnosable mental illness, the end stages of syphilis or something else. He took terrible chances and the penalty was death. While I do not feel the death penalty is a deterrent, I also believe Jack, and others like him, would prefer to keep doing what they are doing rather than to be caught, locked up and executed.

              Yes, I think BS-Man killed Liz. I think he knew Liz and she knew him. I think he thought she would follow him at his mere suggestion. Maybe he did give her the cachous as a friendly gesture. Taken altogether it appeared Liz didn't want male attention that night. Perhaps she was waiting for one special man. It could be argued that she turned away one or more man. (I know this is widely open to interpretation also.)

              I think BS-Man asked her to go with him and she said no. I think he pulled her arm and she plopped down in the pathway, saying no, no, no, but not very loud. Someone quite awhile ago opined on a thread somewhere that BS-Man didn't say "Lipski", but that he could have said "Lizzie". Maybe he reasoned with her, "Lizzie, just come with me and I will treat you...."

              She got him to understand that no meant no. He seemed to leave and she retreated to the yard. Was she listening to music as some have suggested, or could she have been waiting for someone? Nobody knows. I think she knew BS-Man and thought he was harmless. She probably thought he had had too much to drink. At any rate she never thought he was Jack. (This line of reasoning might support the Polish-Jew suspects. Liz spoke Yiddish and has experience working for Jews. Maybe BS-Man was someone she knew as a family member somewhere she had worked.)

              About the time Liz retreated into the yard I think BS-Man who had pretended to go away, realized he had to make sure she didn't identify him. He likely had been drinking, had drunk up his courage to kill that night, and he didn't want his acquaintance Liz messing up bigger plans. So he pounced on her in the dark of the yard.

              Jack got Kate later that night and the furor over the Double Event may have forced Jack to avoid killing for more than a month. I think Mrs. Lewis' testimony shows a somewhat desperate, mentally decompensating Jack. He risked controlling or silencing two women which was stupid, or crazy. Many argue against a Mrs. Kennedy with nearly the same tale. However that is there is a comment made in papers carrying the Mrs. Paumier story, that a creepy man had accosted three women in the neighborhood and they had "chaffed" him. I also believe the authorities had some idea of who was Jack right after MJK was found dead. If I am right in this reasoning, then the attack on Liz was also stupid, or crazy.

              Concerning light, considering the lack of light after dark in those days I would think a little bit of light would be sufficient. We might not feel that way about those light sources, but back then I think very little light would seem like a lot. (You might be surprised what I would consider acceptable light out camping. I see well in the dark. I would guess Jack did also.)

              All this is just my theory for what it's worth. I am always willing to clarify my thinking and I welcome discussion and criticism. I seldom fight for a point of view because there are many valid ways to sort things out. Maybe sometime someone's theory will lead to an answer or two. If my theory is correct, BS-Man was Jack, Jack killed Liz because she knew him someway. Jack wanted the women to follow him, the women did not lead him. He thought Liz would go with him because she knew him, but she didn't want whatever he had to offer. At least she did not want it that night. Had she gone with him before? Perhaps.

              (Considering what Jack burned and why, one thing he seems to have burned beyond Maria Harvey's laundry, was a velvet skirt of velvet jacket. Velvet was heavy then and now. Perhaps he got some light from the shirts, hat and petticoat, but smothered the fire with the velvet. I have an idea the ashes were very warm because something had failed to catch fire until a short while before the police entered. Perhaps he did intend to smother the backlight from the fire which would have made him and his activities more visible through the lightly curtained window.~~~~Also concerning the fire, there was an interesting comment in the O'Donnell manuscript about the kettle boiling dry and that was the cause of the spout melting off. Writers for decades have made much of the "fierce fire" the Ripper built, so hot it melted the kettle. This sentence in the manuscript reminded me that I have heard this before. Some vessels many years ago couldn't boil dry because the vessel itself would be damaged or come apart. There are also some techniques used by Native Americans or that can be used in a survival situation where water can be boiled in odd things, but the vessel must never go dry. I'm throwing this thought out as another way to judge the size, heat and purpose of the fire.)
              The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


              • #8
                I take on board what you are saying, Anna. It's just that I'm not convinced about BS Man. What do you think about PC Smith's sighting of Stride with a male wearing a deerstalker at around 12:30am? I do think that sighting has been underestimated. It would be typical of a man with a black sense of humour to view a racket going on next to a hated Jewish club and then, when they had gone, inveigle his intended victim into the Yard, ostensibly for sex.

                The Victorians would certainly have been used to more darkness than most 21st century people have ever known, that's for sure. Travelling about in the countryside just by the light of the moon, for example. London too, with its dank fogs and polluted air would have made everything seem darker.

                Nevertheless, those little nicks under Kate's eyes, collateral damage by knife or a deliberate act? The taking out of a kidney in very swift time. Possible in almost complete darkness, but I lean towards a bit of candle in a small jar, all the same, without any supporting evidence!

                Yes, Jack would have run the risk of inquisitive neighbours with a big fire in Mary's room. Yet we've seen time and time again that this murderer was quite OK with risk. Whether he was mentally ill or just your everyday psychopath I don't suppose we are ever likely to know.

                Regarding the kettle spout, however, as has been pointed out by several posters over the years, how do we know the kettle lost its spout on this particular occasion? Mary probably wasn't the most careful housewife. She may have left the kettle on the hob when she was drunk a couple of nights before and the spout had been rattling about ever since!


                • #9
                  Yes, this has always been an interesting discussion. Personally I tend to believe that if we go by what witnesses described shortly prior to the murders (Long, Lawende and Hutchinson being 3 cases in point) it seems that Jack approached his victims in quite an amiable fashion, putting any concerns they may have had to rest. Assuming he was also an East End local, which I think most people would agree that he was, there was probably not a whole lot of 'leading' on either part - simply just a case of a couple looking for the closest nook to 'conduct business'. He surely had no way of knowing exactly where he would his victim so most likely wouldn't have pre-planned places. With his victim going with him voluntarily, it wouldn't have created a scene.

                  One exemption to this general rule is BS man, as Anna and Curryong have been discussing. As I've believed for a long time, the scene Schwartz describes makes much more sense if you consider for a moment that perhaps BS man was just a drunken lout who moved on after Schwartz did, and that it was the second man Schwartz described who was in fact the killer.



                  • #10
                    Curryong: In favour of PC Smith's sighting is that he positively and intelligently identified Stride, was a policeman on duty actively observing, the timing is good. He said Stride was a way up Berner St. and on the opposite side from where she was found. I believe he was an accurate reporter.

                    But then, whatever Schwartz saw with BS-Man, there was an altercation between a man and woman very close to where Stride's body was found a short while later. It doesn't so much matter who this man and woman were, or what really happened, as that something did happen if we believe Schwartz. I would think this little altercation would make the opening of Dutfield's Yard uncomfortable for any murderer and certainly for a serial murderer as we suppose Jack was. The altercation called attention to that spot. It would even be possible that the woman went away to return with a boyfriend or family member, or that someone heard the disturbance and came out of the club, or was coming out of the club.

                    However we could surmise that Liz and her man watched the altercation from across the street. Perhaps BS-Man and the woman both left and Liz and her companion, probably Jack, felt there was an opportunity.

                    There are so many ways to figure out these things. Someday maybe an idea will lead to all the pieces fitting. Right now there is not any one right way to analyse things.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


                    • #11

                      Just to clarify, you're suggesting that it's possible that the couple Schwartz saw having the altercation (and I see no reason to disbelieve Schwartz's statement) was in fact an entirely different couple, and that the woman was not Liz? Well, we know that there were other couples in the area at a similar time thanks to other eyewitness accounts, but if this refers back to what I was saying then I do believe the woman Schwartz saw being attacked was Liz. I just believe that after he had gone on his way, Schwartz's second man, having witnessed the whole event, went over to her under the guise of being concerned for her welfare, and from there led her into the Dutfield's Yard passageway.



                      • #12
                        Adam: I personally believe the woman who was pulled along, who cried no, three times, etc. was Liz. However Curryong had brought up PC Smith's ID of Liz up Berner's St. and on the opposite side from where she was found. I am also aware that some argue that the woman who cried "no" was not Liz.

                        My ultimate reasoning is that if the woman who resisted BS-Man was not Liz and he and she went away from the area, I do not think Jack would have chosen a spot where there has recently been a disturbance, to commit murder. What I am saying is I believe PC Smith and I also believe Schwartz. BS-Man accosted Liz. He may or may not have been Jack. I think there is a good chance he was.

                        There are a lot of possibilities. Including that Liz wasn't Jack's victim. I think she was. If I am right I think the important point is that she most likely knew him and he knew her. She wouldn't go with him. He had to make sure she never gave evidence or information against him. He killed her and left the area rapidly, looking for other prey.
                        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


                        • #13
                          Hi Anna,

                          It seems like our thoughts aren't so far apart. I think that regardless of whether the murderer was Schwartz's first or second man (surely we can be confident that it was one of them given the time frame), that he was indeed the one who approached her, although the two different men most likely approached her under completely different pretences.

                          Assuming that JTR was her murderer (and, like you, I think he was), the club was still active so I don't think disturbances would have concerned him too much. If you include the entrance to the passageway of Diemschutz, that's two disturbances in a very short space of time.



                          • #14
                            Hi All,

                            Although the ripper undoubtedly took risks, killing in locations where his victims would - in most cases - be found very quickly, one distinct advantage of this was that in each case there were other potential suspects about besides himself.

                            The two soldiers in Tabram's case, for example, may have had nothing to do with her murder, while the killer could have watched and waited for her to be alone again before following her and striking.

                            The two carmen, Lechmere and Paul, in Buck's Row, need have had nothing to do with Nichols's murder, but they were there, and therefore could have ended up being suspected, after the killer had left unseen and unheard. Had PC Neil come along while they were still pawing over the body, it could have looked bad for them in a climate of fear that the murders were gang-related.

                            With Stride, BS man and Pipeman would be the fall guys if A.N. Other was waiting for the coast to clear before emerging unseen to finish the job. There were also all the club members who would naturally be questioned - another bonus for the actual killer if he was never seen at the scene. I do think the lack of mutilation in Dutfield's Yard, and the limited mutilations in Buck's Row, are the likely result of the various comings and goings in those locations.

                            Again, it's possible that the killer followed Eddowes and the man she was seen with by Lawende and co, and was able to strike in Mitre Square as soon as the coast was clear, performing the mutilations he hadn't dared to begin in Dutfield's Yard.

                            With MJK, there were again more than just a couple of potential suspects around between the last reliable sighting of her alive, and when she was found dead. If Blotchy didn't do it, or Hutchinson, or the man Hutch claimed to see with the victim, or Lewis's lurker, if this was not Hutch, then once again we have a killer who may never have been seen where or when it mattered, leaving all the men who were seen in a more vulnerable position.


                            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen


                            • #15
                              Yes caz, a very interesting perspective. For instance, I still feel that PC Smith's suspect may well have viewed the Dutfield Yard row with some sardonic amusement and chose to kill there afterwards. What would he care about there having been a row there just before. So much the better, in a way. As with the other murders he left behind an assorted group of potential suspects, not just BS and Pipe Man, but all those disliked and rowdy aliens in the club as well.