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  • WHAT ARE THE ODDS ? Discussion Forum

    Over on Colin Roberts' Ind. Forum, Mr. Roberts is discussing his theory on probability factors within the WM.

    He perspired me to come up with this thread. Thanks Colin.

    If Liz Stride's murder is considered ( by most Ripperologists, I would think...) to be the least "definite" of the 5 women that were killed between August 31st and November 9th.....

    ....what are the odds that if Broad Shoulders did not kill her, that some other man would come up upon her within a short space of time and murder her?

    ...this isn't a new idea, of course, as Mr. Paul Begg, for an example, has mentioned this ( perhaps others have as well ) as the odds would be pretty astronomical that two men assaulted Stride that evening, one definitely killing her.

    In addition....what are the odds that two women on the street....either soliciting....standing idly by waiting for someone ... simply minding her own business....or bottom line, simply being on the street with no specific plan or intention in mind....would be killed within a short span of time as the two victims on the Nacht der Doppel-Veranstaltung or as you Englisher people say, the Night of The Double Event ????

    I can almost hear someone mention John Brown who also committed murder that very same evening...on a woman...with a knife. But does that victim "mean" much in the scheme of things here? Is that a sapient decison to include a murder committed in a home ? On a wife ?

    So...for those of you who do not include Stride as a victim of JTR...and I know you little schnooks are out there....please lets discuss the reasons that you would buck the odds...or in fact, are odds applicable to this as we say in ze Froggy, "Nuit de l'événement Double" situation....?

    Muchisimas gracias,pendajos !...er, amigos !
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  • #2
    The odds are way against two different assailants attacking Stride within such a short period of time.

    You can take those same odds and apply it to the likelihood of Jack the Ripper's methods as being defined as "Throw your victim down to the ground on a public street in front of a witness, make her scream, and then kill her a few minutes later."

    I don't regard the killer of Tabram, Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes, and Kelly as the man who killed Stride. Liz was probably the only victim who knew that she was in impending danger when she encountered her assailant. I don't think the other five sensed any problem until it was too late.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by How Brown View Post
      Over on Colin Roberts' Ind. Forum, Mr. Roberts is discussing his theory on probability factors within the WM.

      He perspired me to come up with this thread. Thanks Colin.
      "He perspired me ..."

      Originally posted by Colin Roberts

      [ATTACH]6677[/ATTACH]
      Deviations from Murder-Site Epicenter (Elliptical) (Click to View in flickr)
      Underlying Aerial Imagery: Copyright Google Earth, 2007
      Overlying Plots, Labels and Color-Shadings: Copyright Colin C. Roberts, 2009


      Red: Standard Deviation Ellipse

      The elliptical perspective would suggest that the Eddowes murder-site was more likely to play host to the impending subsequent murder, than was the Stride murder-site; even though Mitre Square was actually farther from the murder-site epicenter, than was Dutfield's Yard.

      The objective side of my brain would give Stride a 50% probability of having been a victim of 'Jack the Ripper'. However, the subjective side of my brain would bump that probability up to approximately 67% (i.e. two thirds). One reason being: I have been seduced by the 'gut-feeling' that perhaps Stride's murderer was in fact disturbed; that he was thus enraged and obsessively compelled to do something that he considered (psychotically, of course) 'sinful' – kill twice during the same 'excursion'; that he accordingly and most heartily blamed the "Juwes" for Eddowes's murder; and that he wrote …

      Either way; the elliptical perspective of my analysis would suggest that the Stride murder-site was more of an 'outlier' than many of us might realize.

      ------------


      Originally posted by How Brown View Post
      ....what are the odds that if Broad Shoulders did not kill her, that some other man would come up upon her within a short space of time and murder her?
      Originally posted by Joe Chetcuti View Post
      The odds are way against two different assailants attacking Stride within such a short period of time.
      Of course, we are assuming that Schwartz's alleged assailant (i.e. the man dubbed 'Broad Shoulders') even existed. Did he?

      Some people simply get a kick out of 'involving' themselves in all the goings-on.

      Elizabeth Long, George Hutchinson, Sarah Lewis, Matthew Packer, and of course Israel Schwartz are prime examples of witnesses, in this case, whose 'testimonies' should be viewed with tremendous skepticism, for this very reason.

      Originally posted by How Brown View Post
      In addition....what are the odds that two women on the street....either soliciting....standing idly by waiting for someone ... simply minding her own business....or bottom line, simply being on the street with no specific plan or intention in mind....would be killed within a short span of time as the two victims on the Nacht der Doppel-Veranstaltung or as you Englisher people say, the Night of The Double Event ????
      I wouldn't think they were 'astronomical'; but they are certainly of sufficient height to forever maintain the place of the so-called 'Double Event', in 'Ripper' lore.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi ho How

        One should be careful of odds.

        I agree that it would initially appear astronomically improbable for Liz to have been attacked twice in one night with the second guy killing her.

        But if one starts to factor in that:

        1. Liz was in a high risk job category,

        2. Liz was in a high risk area,

        3. Liz was living in a high risk time period,

        4. Liz was adopting high risk behaviour (ie. soliciting)

        5. Liz may have been a high risk person (ie. mouthy)

        6. That Liz may not have been "attacked" per se but may have been the victim of perhaps an attempted robbery or nothing more than a scuffle in the first instance. The odds are only astronomical if one considers she had been attacked in the first instance with the intention to kill her.

        7. Given the contemporary record of the time, a bit of argy bargy on the street was hardly rare.

        8. Liz may have been a high risk person. being apparently larger than most she may have been more inclined to ramp up what might in other coircumstances have been little more than an abusive comment.

        9. Liz may have been the attacker. There is no reason to think she was attacked at random in the first instance. Maybe she was the aggressor. In which case it is no more improbable that she was killed later than it was for any other whore who may have engendered a scuffle with some one or other earlier on the evenings of their demise.

        10. Liz may have experienced nothing more than a customer expressing his disatisfaction with the quality of goods provided. Which does not affect probabilities at all. Schwatrz's evidence does not eliminate the possibility that there had been an earlier interaction between his man and Stride. Such an interaction would reduce the apparent random menace in his "stopping to talk to her" and make his altercation less than the Ripper like attack one needs to shrink probabilities.

        11. There is no evidence the first attacker was a serious attempt on her life.

        12. If the first attack was not related to the fatal one and the chance of being killed by the Ripper had little or nothing to do with whether or not one had been attacked and presumably it could have ....then in the same manner as a roulette ball on a wheel..... the probability of he being killed by the Ripper later is not reduced by having been attacked earlier. Its counter intuitive....but its a standard probabilistic concept.

        13. We should be careful of describing the first "attack" as an "attack" in a time when a punch in the face was probably the Victorian equivalent of a "fcuk you slag" today. Lets remember that one of our other victims got herself exactly such a punch over a sliver of soap and didnt seem to ascribe too much too it. If we didnt know about the soap what would her black eye have meant to our discussing that victim?

        And so on.

        I think the discussion of Lizs probability of being attacked twice forgets to include some important aspects and as an argument is, while natural enough and apparently reasonable, does not stand up.

        Maybe someone has statistics on how often the average whore of the time underwent interactions of the kind described by Schwartz?

        p

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi ho How

          Now I will take your second topic:

          In addition....what are the odds that two women on the street....either soliciting....standing idly by waiting for someone ... simply minding her own business....or bottom line, simply being on the street with no specific plan or intention in mind....would be killed within a short span of time as the two victims on the Nacht der Doppel-Veranstaltung or as you Englisher people say, the Night of The Double Event ????
          If there were for example a spree killer on the loose (a notion I consider infinitely more plausible than our mythical "serial" killer) then I have no trouble at all imaging that two women could bump into him and meet their fates within a very short space of time.

          If both of them were in modern LA or NY and had been popped in the head with a snipe rifle within a short while....we would have no issue with that and indeed havent when such circumstances have occurred.

          Therefore, imagining that the circumstances that cause someone to indulge in such behaviour as spree killers are time independent, I see no reason at all to doubt that two women could be offed by the one man in a short time period using a weapon as prevalent in the LVP as an automatic rifle would be in todays LA.

          I find the doubt further recedes when one considers that the two women were exactly the type who would have a high probability of interacting with our man (as opposed to non-whores who might have just walked by, eyes downcast) and as is entriely reasonable to assume, one has a higher probability of being offed by a killer if one interacts with him.

          Plus, in this case the interaction of Eddowes with our man is NOT independant of his interaction with Stride - the probability of her being killed by him as a result of their interaction would be increased given that he most likely fairly pissed off by the time he met her or else fairly mad/driven by what had happened earlier (Im trying to say he was either pissed at having being nearly nabbed/not mutilating or else he was "in the zone" having just killed).

          Thus it is most logical to say that the killing of two women was not as improbable as one might think and that in fact the killing of the second as a result of interaction was probably much more probable than if he hdant killed the first.
          p

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi All,

            Mr P highlights the problem we have: not nearly enough facts about the events leading up to the moment of Stride's death to work out the odds of her encountering two nasty male pieces of work in one night or two Whitechapel street walkers having their throats cut in one night.

            If the ripper generally operated by coming to his victims' aid in one way or another (seeing a pitiful Polly trying to earn her doss for the fourth and last time; coming across a sick and tired Annie on her very last legs; finding Kate desperate for hair of the dog; listening to Mary's sob story about having no rent money) it would be no coincidence if he was always on the lookout for women in need and found one outside a club on a Saturday night having trouble with a disapproving passer-by, drunken lout or aggressive punter.

            So perhaps the question needs to be what were the odds of Jack, on one of his nights out on the prowl that year, being able to find a woman who was being, or had just been, ill-used in some way by another member of the male sex.

            Obviously any such 'charm offensive' would be a temporary ruse to give a prospective victim a false sense of security, and could be turned off again in an instant if it didn't have the desired effect on her - just as quickly as the switch from nice to slice if she fell for it. A fragile ego can expect eternal gratitude for very small mercies and take terrible revenge if it's not forthcoming. This is why I can imagine both scenarios: Jack coming to Stride's rescue in the wake of her being pushed around by another, and choosing his moment to switch off the charm; or Jack seeing Stride apparently soliciting club members after turning him down earlier, and going straight into charmless revenge mode.

            Another question needs to be what are the odds, based on identified repeat offenders, of a double event featuring among their crimes, because some people seem to think it's terribly unlikely and I think they'd be surprised to find how often they actually crop up.

            Lastly, we are constantly being told how common violent crime was in the area at the time. But how common was male on female street murder (or attempted murder) by knife? It's easy to suggest it was very common if we attribute every Whitechapel victim other than Polly, Annie and Kate to different offenders, and equally easy to suggest it was as rare as hens' teeth if we attribute them all to Jack. So how do we get a balanced picture? A clue might be in the fact that even in crime-sodden Whitechapel, the murders of Emma Smith and Martha Tabram were considered by anyone's standards at the time to be way beyond the norm and exceedingly horrific in nature. That has to mean something, surely, when we consider the likelihood of another two extremely dangerous men murdering the same victim type in the same area on the same night, later the same year?

            Love,

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

            Comment


            • #7
              This reminds me of a story/theory my marketing teacher used to regale us with back in the 80's.

              He learned that the odds of being on an airplane with someone carrying a bomb were like 300,000 to one. Therefore, if you wanted to be almost absolutely sure that you arrived at your destination safely, you should always carry a bomb with you on the plane, since the odds of there being two bombs on the plain were exponentially higher.
              "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Magpie

                Thats a classic chestnut and for at least two years I was carrying my own bombs onto planes and buses as a security precaution.

                Then it was pointed out to me that its equivalent to youre tossing five hundred "heads" sequentially...... the 501st toss is still 50:50 despite whats gone before.

                So now I can avoid extra baggage charges.

                However.....were I to have a bomb in my bag AND announce the fact in the papers beforehand....then the odds are probably sufficiently swayed such that my extra baggage charges are justified.

                Its like when the newspapers feature someone who won th elottery twice and always feature the rhetorical statement "What are the odds of THAT!"
                when they are probably the same odds as having won it once.

                Getting back to Ripper land..... I'm going to state that unless one is going to approach things in a Bayesian manner.....its all pretty much a waste of energy.

                p

                Comment


                • #9
                  I see no reason to mention "odds" and coincidences when considering the double event

                  The public scene involving BS man could easily have attracted the attention of a lurking Ripper who may have attacked immediately that BS man left the area - no mystery there

                  I always consider that the Ripper may have been in the darkness of the yard - watching...

                  He could have been asleep and woken by the commotion near the gate - easily dragging Stride backwards in a surprise attack once she was alone

                  A variety of scenarios fit the evidence

                  ..and if Stride's killer was the Ripper, then he was abroad in the area at that moment (obviously) so what is the surprise that he kills and mutilates a short time and distance later?

                  I've been witness to many situations that you would think have immense odds against their occurring - but as Mr P explains, odds / probabilities are often meaningless and often any given situation has an equal chance of happening as any other

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If the ripper generally operated by coming to his victims' aid in one way or another (seeing a pitiful Polly trying to earn her doss for the fourth and last time; coming across a sick and tired Annie on her very last legs; finding Kate desperate for hair of the dog; listening to Mary's sob story about having no rent money) it would be no coincidence if he was always on the lookout for women in need and found one outside a club on a Saturday night having trouble with a disapproving passer-by, drunken lout or aggressive punter.

                    I never thought of that.......maybe he had nothing against whores, or women, but absolutely was sick to the back teeth of whining whingeing complaining women bending his ear about their hard luck.

                    p

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you check out this thread, you'll find that (on average) there were of the order of 22 reported murders in London per year, based on a survey encompassing four decades from 1871 to 1911. Given that these data represent the reported murders, it's likely that the actual number would almost certainly have been slightly higher year on year. Add to that the number of manslaughters (I don't know, but arguably far more common than murders), and the true average would have been higher still. 30? 40?

                      How many of those one could attribute to the East End I don't know, but given its "vicious" reputation it might easily have been 10 murders/manslaughters each year - on average. Note that there are peaks and troughs, and that there seems to be a general increase in (reported) murders from 1888 onwards - perhaps the detection rates of murders increased, and/or officials got more consistent in returning or recording their verdicts.

                      Whatever, an average of 10 East End murders/manslaughters per year strikes me as a reasonable assumption - that's one every 37 days or so. The odds of two independent murders happening on the same day would be 1/37 x 1/37, or 1369:1 against. Those aren't particularly long odds - only a little longer than winning the £10 prize by drawing 3 numbers in the UK National Lottery, an event which happens rather frequently. I myself win a tenner about four times a year on average.

                      Note that one could slice and dice (pardon pun) the data ad infinitum, but it wouldn't be particularly productive. That's not my intention, anyway - nor will I begin to pretend that the above is in any way "accurate". I just wanted to show that the chances of two East End murders happening in the same day might not be as "unlikely" as it might first appear, and that even "long" odds aren't as scary as one might think.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sam:

                        Thanks for the maths.

                        In light of your data...and before I say anything else, I feel the Ripper was a local man after around a decade of mulling it over. Too many side street murders for my liking.....and unless demonstrated one way or the other conclusively, Nichols,Kelly,Chapman,and Stride were killed off the beaten track and probably,not definitely, were picked up and murdered on the side streets they were found. I'd exclude Eddowes, since she may have met her killer on an arterial road.

                        Back to you...

                        I notice the absence of the location of the murders in the numbers,daddio.

                        Got numbers for street jobs?
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                          Back to you...

                          I notice the absence of the location of the murders in the numbers,daddio.
                          There was absence of location in the original data, so there's not much I can do about that, How. Besides, like I said, all I wanted to do was to point out that events with seemingly "very long" odds can - and do - happen more frequently than some folks might think. Seriously - if the odds against a Double Event were 14 million to one, it wouldn't be particularly scary; those are the odds of scooping the UK National Lottery jackpot, which I guess happens once every month on average. Whatever the "true" figure, the odds against two independent killers pinging Stride and Eddowes within an hour or so would be orders of magnitude less than 14 million to one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi SamF

                            I have no strong notions on the matter (aprat from the fact that is ultimately pointless).....
                            I just wanted to show that the chances of two East End murders happening in the same day might not be as "unlikely" as it might first appear, and that even "long" odds aren't as scary as one might think.
                            But what are the odds of two murders happeing in the same hour or so?

                            p

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree with your main point, Howard. The man who committed these murders had familiarized himself quite well with Whitechapel. But I don't think he necessarily had to have been a "local" man to achieve this.

                              Back to Berner Street. My opinion of Israel Schwartz has not changed over the years. I never came across anything that would make me think that his account was fabricated. We heard some slight skepticism about him earlier on this thread, but it's a skepticism that was very generalized. Looking at Schwartz as an individual, I don't think the man did anything that warranted him to be characterized as a liar or an attention-seeker. It's more likely he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

                              Stewart once gave us some good advice about "how we must look at each of these murders separately." It's smart thinking. A man like Schwartz shouldn't be disregarded simply because Pearly Poll and Hutchinson were questionable people. But since this is an "odds" thread, I'll get down to the nitty-gritty. I'd consider it a better than 70-30 chance that Schwartz's testimony was legitimate.

                              I also think there was a better than 50-50 chance that Stride's killer had fled the murder site before Diemschutz even approached that area. But that's another topic for another day

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