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Alternate Crimes: The Community

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
#4
Interesting read- though I think Hallie Rubenhold makes a good case that most of the Ripper's victims weren't prostitutes.
Still, that's a quibble. The article is excellent, though I need to take a shower after reading about Vacher.
 

David Flin

Not even a little bit.
#6
Great article!

Stupid Ripperology Theory: What if Jack the Ripper was a social activist who finally snapped and started committing murders to draw attention to conditions in Whitechapel?
Well, maybe murdering people who could do something about conditions in Whitechapel, but weren't, rather than murdering people who lived in Whitechapel ...

That said, logic isn't necessarily a strong point of serial killers.
 

OwenM

Your guess is as good as mine.
#7
To combine 3 with 4 a bit, didn't the police encourage the "bystander effect" angle to distract from Moseley's unprompted confession to a separate crime they'd already arrested someone else for, or someyhing in that vein?
 

Fenwick

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#8
To combine 3 with 4 a bit, didn't the police encourage the "bystander effect" angle to distract from Moseley's unprompted confession to a separate crime they'd already arrested someone else for, or someyhing in that vein?
Kinda. From what I have read while that was thrown about the man they arrested prior to Moseley was never sent to trial so it really was not a huge deal for them.
 

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
#9
Great article!

Stupid Ripperology Theory: What if Jack the Ripper was a social activist who finally snapped and started committing murders to draw attention to conditions in Whitechapel?
Well, maybe murdering people who could do something about conditions in Whitechapel, but weren't, rather than murdering people who lived in Whitechapel ...

That said, logic isn't necessarily a strong point of serial killers.
"SIR,-- Will you allow me to make a comment on the success of the Whitechapel murderer in calling attention for a moment to the social question? Less than a year ago the West-end press, headed by the St. James's Gazette, the Times, and the Saturday Review, were literally clamering for the blood of the people--hounding on Sir Charles Warren to thrash and muzzle the scum who dared to complain that they were starving--heaping insult and reckless calumny on those who interceded for the victims--applauding to the skies the open class bias of those magistrates and judges who zealously did their very worst in the criminal proceedings which followed--behaving, in short as the proprietary class always does behave when the workers throw it into a frenzy of terror by venturing to show their teeth. Quite lost on these journals and their patrons were indignant remonstrances, argument, speeches, and sacrifices, appeals to history, philosophy, biology, economics, and statistics; references to the reports of inspectors, registrar generals, city missionaries, Parliamentary commissions, and newspapers; collections of evidence by the five senses at every turn; and house-to-house investigations into the condition of the unemployed, all unanswered and unanswerable, and all pointing the same way. The Saturday Review was still frankly for hanging the appellants; and the Times denounced them as "pests of society." This was still the tone of the class Press as lately as the strike of the Bryant and May girls. Now all is changed. Private enterprise has succeeded where Socialism failed. Whilst we conventional Social Democrats were wasting our time on education, agitation, and organisation, some independent genius has taken the matter in hand, and by simply murdering and disembowelling four women, converted the proprietary press to an inept sort of communism. "

- George Bernard Shaw, letter to The Star, September 24, 1888.
 

David Flin

Not even a little bit.
#10
Whilst we conventional Social Democrats were wasting our time on education, agitation, and organisation, some independent genius has taken the matter in hand, and by simply murdering and disembowelling four women, converted the proprietary press to an inept sort of communism. "

- George Bernard Shaw, letter to The Star, September 24, 1888.
And afterwards, Whitechapel was exactly the same. The attitudes of Them Up There changed not a jot, not from Society, not from the Social Democrats, by whatever name they went by. As for Shaw, well, he was good with words.
 

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
#12
I spent a year living in Spitalfields. I'd been there for about a fortnight, trying to work out why the street names were vaguely familiar from some forgotten history book or novel, when I ran into a Ripper Tour.
It turns out I was living about two hundred yards from where poor Mary Kelly was... well, taken apart.

And the tours came by three or four times a week for almost the whole year.
Ex public school boys putting on their best mockney accents, often wearing top hats, some even holding fucking lanterns- in the summer! Leaning forward as if they were in a goddamn Victorian pea-souper.
'Picture it, ladeez and gents, picture the ghastly scene...'
The poor women have some of the only corpses in the world that jackals still pick over, a century after they're dead.
But you'd wander around the seedier parts of Whitechapel even now and see the homelessness spikes being put on window ledges, and the new developments where the mandatory 'affordable' flats could only be entered by separate doors round the side by the bins, and the decaying parks, and the rubbish everywhere...
No one fucking cared, then or now. The whole area only exists in the minds of government as somewhere that the bankers can expand east into or the hipsters can move south.

I mean, I was part of the problem- a foreigner living in university student housing, a big block of flats that could have been used for dozens of local families- but still, I couldn't get over how many of my friends just didn't notice the decay around us.
 
#13
Hmm. This reminds me of the Rodney King beating and acquittal and the riots it triggered, which OTL brough to light, via news coverage, tension between the three major ethnic minorities in LA in the 90s - the African-Americans, the Asian-Americans, and Latinos. Like ethnic minorities and wites being at odds was nothing new, but the King trial also poisoned Asian-black relations for many years even further (with many older Asians, especially in the middle class, having this undue stereotype of black people, as volatile rioters and robbers, not helped by the class tensions there), and highlighted a new fear for many urban Anglos - the increasing prominence of Latinos, who would eventually turn much of traditionally black South Los Angeles into a Latino area (traditionally Boyle Heights and before that the area around Union Station were the traditional Latino areas).

It is interesting how in a lot of cases the press often brought up the racial angle to the exclusion of all others - when one could as easily have framed it as a class thing - there were a not insignificant amount of white rioters looting stores; more Latinos than blacks were estimated to be among the rioters; some of the affected neighborhoods were traditional black middle class strongholds that were devastated by the one-two punch of Reagan voodoo economics and the end of the Cold War eviscerating the region's manufacturing economy.

In a way the Rodney King riots kind of set the stage for the way social conflict would be framed in the post-Cold War world. One gets the sense that the way the riots were covered and framed by the political leadership served to avoid answering the basic post-Cold War question of "now what" that would have drastic consequences later. Because if it's an ethnic conflict, you don't have to talk about the flaws of the new economy or the new society, and the press and politicians never untik recently wanted to talk about that.
 

Fenwick

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#14
Now for the LA Riots the flip side to Black-Asian relations requires me to ask, who is Latasha Harlins? Most do not know. If you go to law school you read how Harlins went into a Korean convivence store and by every single witness and evidence at the scene was acting perfectly lawfully when the store owner accused her of stealing a bottle of orange juice. Harlins left the store after throwing the bottle to the ground (she was a 15 year old accused of stealing and depending on the witness called a very improper name by the store owner) only to be SHOT DEAD in the back.

At trial the 51 year old store owner was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. She received probation and a $500 fine. This instance was a very big deal in the black community.

One reason why the riots seemed to shift towards Korean neighborhoods. Over $400 million in Korean-American property was damaged. In fact the LA Korean community still calls it four-two-nine to refer to the riots.

That in turn shaped the political landscape of Korean-Americans for almost a decade in the USA.

So "WI Harlins never died?" Does that in turn make the riot smaller? Is it more like a protest? Or does the anger in the community get vented to some other area of Los Angeles?

This itself makes me need to talk about Do The Right Thing the Spike Lee film from 1989. In the film police shoot and kill Radio Raheem. Suddenly the community riots. Destroying the one white owned store. At the time it was making many folks scratch their heads. "If police killed someone... why did everyone get made at an innocent store owner?" and "[Lead Character] started the riot when he never showed any hatred towards anyone... why make such a switch?" But take that 1989 film and place it next to the LA riots and you start to get this notion, which I think is really telling in crime, which is how these seemingly random events can effect an entire community and shape it for years if not decades to come.