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Old May 12th, 2015, 10:41 AM   #11
Cris Malone
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Exactly, Lynn.

Garbage in, garbage out.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 11:04 AM   #12
Jon Simons
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Cates View Post
Hello Cris. Precisely. They were held between thumb and forefinger. Rather tenuous, it would seem.
Precisely ?

They were "lodged", not held.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 02:49 PM   #13
Anna Morris
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Has anyone ever looked at basic physiology of the hand in considering how Liz appeared to be clutching a packet of cachous? If she fell with the back of her hand down and her fingers wrapped around the cachous it seems to me gravity would keep her fingers in that position. It takes muscle and tendon action to fully extend fingers so would we expect death to cause the hand to relax in an open position? Even if that was the case, the opposable thumb being on top, so to speak, gravity I think would bring it down to appear that it was clasping something in the hand.

Mr. Frederick William Blackwell, the doctor who said he arrived at 1:10 am said, "The left hand was lying on the ground and was partially closed, and contained a small packet of cachous wrapped in tissue paper." He also testified that it, "would take about a minute and a half to bleed to death", considering Stride's injuries. (Evans & Skinner, pp. 149-150)

Dr. George Baxter [sic] Phillips testified, " The left arm was extended, and there was a packet of cachous in the left hand. A number of these were in the gutter. I took them from her hand and handed them to Dr. Blackwell." (E & S, page 157)

Neither doctor's testimony indicates to me that Liz was clenching the packet after death. To me it appears the packet was in her hand when she fell. She may have been alive a minute or so after she was on the ground. Perhaps her hand continued to clutch the packet and her fingers remained partially curled after death, with the thumb relaxed across her palm and the packet.

Of course none of this answers questions such as where did she get the cachous? Why was the packet in her hand when she was attacked? Why may she have been at the point of ingesting a cachou when she was attacked? Etc. But I don't think it is that unusual that her left hand was found that way. I have seen people die in hospitals but I can't think of actually seeing someone die with their palms up. What I remember is if they were clutching something like a blanket or hand, the fingers at point of death simply relaxed and the hand fell to the side. Never have I seen fingers fully extend at that point and I think it is not possible because of muscle/tendon action needed to fully extend fingers. A medical expert on the hand might be of great value in considering this case.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 03:18 PM   #14
Lynn Cates
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Hello Anna. Yes, I would expect palm up, three fingers curled up and cachous held between thumb and forefinger--as the doctors said.

She was obviously taking them out, from perhaps a pocket, when the killer suddenly struck from behind.

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Old May 12th, 2015, 04:39 PM   #15
Anna Morris
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Hi Lynn: I have wondered about the "pocket" angle too. Could she/would she have had a pocket as we understand it on her jacket? Or was her only pocket the purse type affair under her skirt? Did Victorian clothing have patch pockets or set in pockets like we do today?

Then we can wonder about the definition of cachou. Was she preparing to consume candies or was she planning to pop a couple breath mints? Either way she would have been preoccupied when attacked. If she had just accessed her breath mints in the under-the-skirt pocket she would have been very much off guard when attacked.

Much is made of her "clutching" the cachous in death but my assumption is she was so surprised when attacked that by reflex she probably reached up with her right hand. Possibly her left side was very close to the building and movement on that side could have been constricted somewhat. Probably she never had time to think and possibly she did not raise either arm and blood got on her right hand in another way.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 05:13 PM   #16
Lynn Cates
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Hello Anna. Thanks.

Yes, as you say, quite involved--then surprised.

And, yes, when the scarf tightened, her fingers clenched.

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Old May 14th, 2015, 02:46 AM   #17
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Yes, Liz could have had a pocket in her clothing as we understand pockets today. They became reasonably popular on the outside of clothing and patch, simulated, pockets on the seams of clothing round about the time of the 1870's bustle. Before that there were patch pockets on aprons, of course.

The Ripper victims seem to have favoured the large old fashioned hanging pockets underneath skirts, probably because they could hold quite a lot. The ones on skirt seams and on jackets were specifically made for watches and dainty hankies and not much more, though I don't suppose cachous would take up much room! By the time of the 1880's bustle the pockets set into the seam were way back on the garment.

This is a handy reference about 19th century pockets.

http://historicalsewing.com/19th-c-p...hone-somewhere
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Old May 14th, 2015, 07:31 PM   #18
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Thanks for that link, Curryong. I never really thought about what "pocket" meant in the JtR saga. About until I got involved here I had assumed the pockets were in coats and jackets and pictured Liz pulling the packet of cachous out of a patch pocket on her coat. Sheer ignorance. Those under the skirt pockets were more luggage than purse for example. In those pockets the victims kept everything they owned whereas today a person might use a suitcase (for more belongings certainly), or more likely a set of luggage to store all possessions if one was poor and had only a little. Another comparison to today is that the under the skirt pocket was used somewhat like folks use backpacks now.
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