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Old September 26th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #11
Edward Stow
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This was one of Charles Booth's maps but one that is less well known.
It is his definition of poverty - earning less than 21 shillings a week.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 09:35 PM   #12
Edward Stow
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I think the overcrowding is a key feature in this case.
The murders happened in the some of the most overcrowded districts in London - which has certain implications.
I must have made committing the crimes extremely hazardous compared to if they had hypothetically been committed in a less crowded part of London.

Also I strongly suspect that these districts would have been less quiet at night than more salubrious areas as there would have been a greater number of night workers going to the markets and docks and so forth at all hours. Two very major routes – Commercial Road and Mile End Road- Whitechapel Road cut through these districts.

The poorer and equally prostitute frequented streets on the South Bank would I suspect have also been quieter.

This surely points to a local culprit. Otherwise why choose the East End? The thrill of extra danger?

I think that overcrowding is also a trigger in serial killing behaviour.
Too close proximity to too many unfamiliar people can cause stress. It is not ‘natural’ for humans to live in these circumstances. Although as a species we are adaptable, we did not develop in circumstances were we interacted on a daily basis with thousands of people we did not know in anyway, who were effectively competing for our living space.
Someone who already has an aberrant personality will be less able to cope and adapt to this than a well-adjusted person.

The other factor that sets these East End districts apart from for example the poorer South Bank was that there was a very significant foreign population in this part of the East End – mainly Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.
Bethnal Green West – both overcrowded and poor was less Jewish than the three murder districts – and almost certainly more deserted late at night due to the lack of major through routes. Why no murders there? One reason was almost certainly because this district was not in the murderers personal comfort zone. It was beyond his area of intimate knowledge.

The local Jewish population could lend itself to the Jewish culprit theory.
Or – and I think this is more likely – the presence of this Jewish population further alienated the culprit. Not only was the area overcrowded, it was overcrowded not just with too many unfamiliar English people but with very foreign faces.
I think this contributed to a sense of powerlessness and alienation, and in a personality that had a pre-existing abnormality resulted in him lashing out.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 05:40 AM   #13
Dave James
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Hi all,

Just for a reference, Booth's 21 shillings is equivalent to 95 today (aprox $130).

Things haven't changed a lot despite progress!
"From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us."
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Old September 27th, 2013, 06:44 AM   #14
Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
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Hi Edward

I always thought there was a possibility the killer was attracted to the East End by the press coverage of the Tabram murder especially, but also that of Emma Smith, in that it practically advertised the area as an ideal victim pool to a psychotic mind

There is also the aspect that the killer of Nichols onward might have just wished to continue the idea in the area that a real monster was on the loose, akin to something like "Spring-Heeled Jack"

These ideas could apply whether or not the killer had killed Tabram

On the whole, it would appear more likely that the killer was a local man, but I certainly don't think you can exclude regular or even infrequent visitors to the area or people who live outside but close to the area, or even someone travelling from afar

One of the few speculations I consider true about the killer is that he was a regular user of prostitutes in the past, and I would expect some of those previous encounters with prostitutes to have taken place in the East End

Just that aspect alone would provide the killer with any knowledge required to carry out the murders within that area

In consideration of that, he could still be a sailor whose ship visits London regularly, maybe a mad American doctor visiting England for a few weeks, a businessman travelling from Liverpool to London for work etc

JtR might also be expected to have lodgings or other premises at hand in the East End, which is also not necessarily so in my opinion, there being many options for him such as living aboard a ship, living miles away from the area, travelling by train from outlying areas, being homeless etc
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Old September 27th, 2013, 07:53 AM   #15
Edward Stow
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Yes it could be someone who lived further afield but had visited the area sufficiently frequently to build up considerable knowledge to be able to act confidently in these narrow twisting and overcrowded streets.
It would also have to have a temporary place of residence near by - it doesn't seem likely that he would be able to commute far after each killing.
I don't think it is plausible that we are dealing with a copy cat or two killers.
Emma Smith's death attracted hardly any publicity. It could have acted as a prompt to the killer if he lived locally or operated locally for work and found out on the grape vine.

I guess it is likely that the killer had used prostitutes as otherwise how would he know that he would be taken to a nice suitably secluded spot - relative to the overcrowding in the East End.
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