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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Victims » Elizabeth Stride » Would Liz Have Carried A Knife? « Previous Next »

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c.d.
Detective Sergeant
Username: Cd

Post Number: 127
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 11:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Of all the victims, Liz Stride has always struck me as being the most hardened with a long history of being on the street. What do you think the odds are that she would have carried a knife and not been afraid to use it?

Apparently, there was disagreement among the doctors as to whether Liz was killed by the same knife used to kill the other victims. Assuming that she did carry a knife and attempted to defend herself (or at least pulled the knife), do you think that Jack might have disarmed her and used her own knife to kill her?

As for Michael Kidney, if she saw him in a drunken state and obviously angry, would she attempt to avoid a beating by brandishing the knife? If we are to believe her story, she had been beaten by Kidney before but if she had been thrown to the ground earlier in the evening she might not have been in the mood for any more abuse. Would he have backed off to save face before a crowd gathered? What do you think?

c.d.
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Howard Brown
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Howard

Post Number: 1244
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 12:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

C.D.

Good point about whether Stride would use her knife on an assailant...

If she was getting smacked around publicly by someone who was alleged to have doled out beatings in the past...yeah..I do.

...which brings up the question...why didn't she do the same to a stranger after the first smack?

People don't forget that they are carrying weapons,especially if they are for self-protection... In any event,had Long Liz been carrying a shank..I think she would use it for protection should the need occur. Just my opinion...
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Diana
Chief Inspector
Username: Diana

Post Number: 912
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 7:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This opens a whole line of thought. Wouldn't most of them have carried a knife for protection? These ladies were probably pretty hardened and streetwise.

Eddowes might have been relieved of hers during her stay in the pokey. But still with the Ripper scare in full swing you'd think they would have given it back before she left.

It seems odd now that you bring it up that not one of them was found with a defensive weapon on her, not even a long hatpin.

If it was normal for Whitechapel prostitutes to carry something along these lines (and they would have been crazy not to) then that would explain Jack's preference for the blitz type attacks. He would not have wanted to give them time to get out their hatpin or whatever.
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3418
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all

Weapons of varying kinds...
...were more than likely carried by most people in Whitechapel at the time!!

A knife would be the most 'available' and is in some ways the most discreet weapon of choice!

BUT,
Diana this would assume that Kate was a prostitute- which I don't think she was for a moment- an opportunist maybe but NOT a 'professional!'.
A hat pin would also have been a luxury! -definately pawnable!

Now the fact that no 'weapons' were found on the girls is ok, worth a thought but maybe that says a lot about them,they didnt have the wherewithal or maybe the inclination.

Suzi
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3419
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 10:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And as an afterthought..even if the girls had such a thing- maybe they weren't given the chance to use it by their assailant!

(and IF such a thing was at the scene maybe Jacky took it away) UNLIKELY .....but who knows!


Suzi
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Jane Coram
Chief Inspector
Username: Jcoram

Post Number: 688
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It seems pretty certain that Polly, Annie and Kate carried everything they owned in their pockets. Poor Kate seems to have been carting half a house around with her.....

It would seem almost impossible to me that they did not have a reasonably sharp knife, not only for protection but for such things as cutting everyday items they might need to use.

Apart from being prostitutes, albeit in Kate's case a tentative one, they would have had some kind of protection on them, which does beggar the question what happened to the knives? (I can't believe that none of them carried one, that would seem to be against the odds.)

Then going back to Howie's question...why didn't Liz use a hyperthetical knife on her attacker? Possible because the attack was so minor she didn't feel that she was in serious danger.

mmmmm, interesting thread,even if it is totally speculative

Janie
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c.d.
Detective Sergeant
Username: Cd

Post Number: 129
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Going on the assumption that the women more likely than not would have carried a knife, I would expect them to have the knives at the ready during the whole encounter. Does this tell us something about the swiftness of the attack? If so, swiftness would tend to favor a suspect like Druitt over someone like Tumblety would it not?

c.d
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Donald Souden
Chief Inspector
Username: Supe

Post Number: 905
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 2:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If, and it is a big if, we are to accept that Jack's victims would have ordinarily carried a knife of some sort and none of them had a knife amog their effects are we to assume that Jack was not necessarily a serial killer but rather a serial collector of knives by whatever means?

Don.
"He was so bad at foreign languages he needed subtitles to watch Marcel Marceau."
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Howard Brown
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Howard

Post Number: 1246
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 3:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good question,Don. You may have said that with tongue in cheek,but who knows,huh?

The women,especially the earlier WM victims,to me,would be less likely to have been found with a knife. After Chapman's murder,its a little easier to imagine that the prostitutes [ even if Stride and Eddowes were not soliciting,to keep an open mind,and assuming that they were soliciting in this instance...]would carry an "Arkansas toothpick" or something for protection.

Then again,maybe the street-culture was not as assault-with-weapon violent as we thought.

Good thread C.D.
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Jennifer Pegg
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Jdpegg

Post Number: 3345
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 4:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eddowes had a table knife..does that count?
"it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you"



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Howard Brown
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Howard

Post Number: 1248
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 7:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jennifer:

She sure did...a white handled one.

Quick question for those who are knowledgeable in guillory and Victorian terminology...

Wouldn't this knife that Mrs. Eddowes was found with be called a "butter knife " to us Yanks ? The rounded edged knifes that are used for spreading butter and jam and such....

In the list of items, the knife as Jenny points out...is listed as a "white table knife"

Any ideas ?
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Jane Coram
Chief Inspector
Username: Jcoram

Post Number: 690
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Howie,

A table knife is usually (and was) round ended, and probably what you would call a butter knife. It could have been the sort that is used just to eat general meals in this country. I have a Victorian table knife that I still use. If no one beats me to it, I will scan it in tomorrow and post it up. Mine doesn't have a white handle, it has a bone one, but I suspect that Kate's was bone handled too, but mine is just yellowed with age.

They are not dangerous weapons, unless you want to butter someone to death. I suppose if it was really sharpened you could cut someones throat with it, but I would say it is highly unlikely!

Love Janie

xxxx
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Barnaby
Sergeant
Username: Barnaby

Post Number: 14
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This thread got me wondering about the victims fighting back in general. I don't believe that any of the victims had defensive wounds. Am I wrong? If not, what does this say about JTR's m.o.?
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3424
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 5:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all-

Ive got a drawer full of Victorian table knives (confession time!) which I still use on a daily basis......usually for peeling potatoes...well thats my story anyway!
Trying to send a pic...

Suzi
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Eddie Derrico
Detective Sergeant
Username: Eddie

Post Number: 149
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 8:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Maybe Liz did get some sort of defense in with the knife. Jack tore part of Eddowe's apron off and it was found all bloody. He may have used it to cover his wound from Liz.

Yours Truly,

Eddie
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3425
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ok



This is the fiendish weapon!!!!

Suzi
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Eddie Derrico
Inspector
Username: Eddie

Post Number: 151
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 9:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Suzi

That looks like it would really hurt. I rather get shot.

Yours Truly,

Eddie
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Diana
Chief Inspector
Username: Diana

Post Number: 915
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 9:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, if Jack was butterman he might have reason to tremble!
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Jane Coram
Chief Inspector
Username: Jcoram

Post Number: 691
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wondered who had been pinching all my knives.....it's Suzi!

Seriously though, that is more or less identical, but I ran my finger down the edge of mine and it was actually quite sharp. I think if I had pressed a little harder I could have cut my finger on it.....so I suppose as a razor style weapon it would have been quite effective.

I was thinking back to Richardson, who said that the knife he carried wasn't sharp enough to cut the leather from his boot, and that is was a table knife. He had to go and borrow one from the market to do the job, which might seem to indicate that it was usual for people to carry a knife of some sort, but maybe not always a sharp one.

Most people would have sharpened their knives with a whetstone, which weren't actually that large, but there was always a knife grinder hanging about on street corners, that is a man whose sole trade was sharpening knives and implements.
People would simply take their goods to him and have them sharpened for next to nothng, no questions asked. I wonder if Jack simply took his blade along to Old Joe on the corner and handed it over for a quick refresher.......now that is a dreadful thought!

Good thread this.......

Janie

xxxx
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3426
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Janie-
As you say a knife grinder could have done a super job on one of these,the cutting edge on my one here is actually quite sharp,but as you say you have to press down on it.ergh!

God Joe queueing up with his glistening 'table knife' to be sharpened ,is quite a ghastly thought isn't it!

Tis good isn't it!

Suzi x
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Simon Owen
Inspector
Username: Simonowen

Post Number: 274
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 12:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A useful item for self-defence would have been a penknife , which came in various sizes and was originally used to cut quills for writing , hence the name. The blade folded away into the handle , I can remember seeing some old victorian ones as a child and one was quite hefty.
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Jane Coram
Chief Inspector
Username: Jcoram

Post Number: 692
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 4:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Simon,

I think the trouble with a penknife as a means of defense might be that by the time you had got it out of your pocket, got the blooming thing open and attempted to use it, you would be lying in a gutter somewhere dead.

Have you ever tried to open one quickly? It's a nightmare! ( I usually end up getting the corkscrew or the stone remover when I try, very handy if you are facing imminent death!)

Having said that, the Victorians did have flick knives, which opened instantly, but they would have been quite expensive out of the range of most of the poorer classes....the same with pen knives really as they were not cheap. I do have some pictures of Victorian flick knives if anyone wants to see them, but I would say that the chances of any of the victims carrying one is about nil. Jack however......well that's another matter.

Janie

xxxx
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Howard Brown
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Howard

Post Number: 1250
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 4:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A penknife would have been more suitable,Simon...[ and thanks for the info on the origin of the term...]...but sadly the ladies weren't packing one.

The reason that I brought up the question of what a table [ butter knife over here in the States..] knife was,is because in the United States,in many places,forks still weren't used around that time. I thought that it was somehow possible that Kate's knife served the purpose that knives served in the States.

But since it wasn't sharpened on the tip or a cutting knife...then that knocks that out,eh?
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Eddie Derrico
Inspector
Username: Eddie

Post Number: 157
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 11:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Suzi

Thanks. You got me me in trouble. I was in the garage sharpening one of our butter knives and the wife caught me. I'm trying to see how sharp I can get it. Guess we'll buy her an extra Christmas gift this year. Some new tableware.

Yours Truly and Happy Holiday,

Eddie
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Lindsey C Hollifield
Chief Inspector
Username: Lindsey

Post Number: 599
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 3:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eddie,

You'd make one damn fine Englishman. Lemme see what I can do with your papers, Hon.

Lyn x
My first reaction is, "OMG that's crazy". But then I'm thinking this just may be crazy enough to work.
copyright Bradley McGinnis Sept. 2005
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3441
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 7:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eddie-
Stick to spoons!!!! In MOST cases they're safer !!!

(Conference goers will have been aware of the other possibilities though,especially the Mongolian disembowelling variety!)

Have a great Christmas....tableware aside!!!!

Suzi
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3442
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)



An 1867 Penknife (Purely for info!)

Suzi

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