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Point To Ponder : Murdered While Sleeping Rough

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  • #76
    Originally posted by R. J. Palmer
    I doubt if very many people--perhaps no one--is interested in my opinion, but I'd like to explain why I have some begrudging sympathy for Rubenhold's ideas. Even though I don't believe she is technically right, I think she might be psychologically right.

    I suspect that the reason the academics are more focused on the victims being poverty stricken slum dwellers, as opposed to 'sex workers,' is because they instinctively see crimes of this sort as having an important social component, rather than just the random acts of a sexual pervert. The Ripper is not, after all, killing respectable ladies in Mayfair.

    When Tom Cullen wrote about the Ripper in the 1960s, he thought along these same lines. His suspect (Druitt) was a middle-class barrister living in Blackheath, and Cullen didn't ignore the possibility that the killer had a psychological reason for specifically targeting the bottom of the barrel--those poor souls stuck living in the East End. Cullen didn't deny the sexual nature of the crimes, but he also believed the victim's economic class was relevant. He couldn't fully explain himself, perhaps, but he felt it.

    But the times have changed, and the Freudians and the F.B.I. profilers have won the field, and the Cullen-types are few and far between. The Ripper is a sexual pervert, plain and simple--a Lechmere, a Kosminski, a Hutchinson, or take your pick, who gets sexual gratification out of killing women. The 'class' of the victim no longer matters, except in so far as these are the only women who will go with him into a dark alley. It is no deeper than that, so the blather of the social scientists do not concern us.

    The thing is, I am not as convinced as everyone else is that the Cullen/Hainsworth/and the 'academic' types are barking up the wrong tree. I am not arguing that the victim's weren't soliciting, but I do wonder if it is accurate to assume that their ragged homelessness is irrelevant to the psychology of the murderer. I think there is more going on psychologically than the mere killing of 'sex' objects, and, like Robert Linford used to argue, I am highly skeptical that the victims were even seen as 'sex object' at all.

    So in that respect, I do have some sympathy for the Rubenholds of the world, even if she is not entirely aware of where her thinking is really headed. Of course, if you're convinced the Ripper is a local man like Lechmere, motivated by sexual frenzy, then you won't agree with me.

    I hope that begins to explain my thinking.

    Where HR and I mainly differ is that she is adamant that Polly and Annie WERE NOT prostitutes, and I believe they were. She also misrepresents the victims’s backgrounds to make them more deserving of our sympathy and pads her book out with a lot of inaccurate ‘context’

    Again, RJ, I’m amazed by the depth of your research. Not only does it appear you have read every comment ever made by a female poster on Casebook, it now seems you know the innermost most thoughts of ‘everyone else’ in the field.


    • #77
      I doubt if very many people - - perhaps no one -- is interested in my opinion - R.J . Palmer.

      Cheer up, Roger. I've been interested in your opinions for many years. I might even initiate a Roger's Opinions Matter movement, heh heh.

      Back on post 73, I think the PC who you were trying to remember in George Yard was Thomas Barrett. He was the PC who talked with the Grenadier Guardsman at 2am . The guardsman was waiting for a friend who had gone off with a girl.

      Your thoughts about how London prostitution had sometimes been social as well as transactional is food for thought. During Martha Tabram's final night there was plenty of socializing going on between her and her soldier. The two were drinking it up at the White Hart pub along with Mary Ann Connelly and her military man.