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The Five: The Untold Live...
Forum: Books
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
04-13-2019, 02:38 PM
» Replies: 11
» Views: 6,708
Book Chapter:Prostitution...
Forum: Online Sources
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
03-27-2019, 08:14 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 758
Catherine "Kate" Eddowes
Forum: The Canonical Five
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
03-12-2019, 07:35 AM
» Replies: 11
» Views: 6,786
Rippercast
Forum: Online Sources
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
01-22-2019, 09:25 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 2,935
“In this era of #MeToo .....
Forum: Miscellany
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
12-21-2018, 10:39 AM
» Replies: 2
» Views: 1,492
sale through Nov 30 - wom...
Forum: Books
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
11-07-2018, 10:27 AM
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Dr. Crippen
Forum: Other Cases of Interest
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
10-29-2018, 10:19 AM
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Emma Elizabeth Smith
Forum: Beyond the Five
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
10-17-2018, 09:17 AM
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"How Henrietta Schmerler ...
Forum: Miscellany
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
10-16-2018, 08:31 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 1,231
Martha Tabram
Forum: Beyond the Five
Last Post: RebeccaFrost
10-15-2018, 09:13 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 775

 
  Book Chapter:Prostitution, Reputation, and Gossip ...
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 03-27-2019, 08:14 AM - Forum: Online Sources - No Replies

Eleanor Janega's book chapter "Suspect Women: Prostitution, Reputation, and Gossip in Fourteenth-Century Prague" is available for free. This one's quite academic (so, theory-heavy) and not of the Victorian era, but discussions of prostitution throughout history help me frame the discussions we have about sex workers (and at times women in general) so I'm sharing it here.

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  Rippercast
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 01-22-2019, 09:25 AM - Forum: Online Sources - No Replies

The newest Rippercast gives a brief mention of both The Ripper's Victims in Print and The Five. Dr. Lucy Andrew's talk, "Capturing Jack the Ripper: The Ripper Mythos 130 Years On," is available here. You can also download her PowerPoint from that page.

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  sale through Nov 30 - women's studies books
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 11-07-2018, 10:27 AM - Forum: Books - No Replies

In case anyone is interested, McFarland is having a sale for 20% off women's studies books. Here's the flipbook, and this is the email I got from them about how and why they chose the titles:

Quote:The Women’s March in January 2017 ignited a new sense of urgency in women’s activism. Conversations about sexual violence, masculinity and the complexities of gender have made their way into the mainstream, refusing to be ignored. The women’s movement has not only grown larger, but has evolved, with new voices helping us better understand the importance of intersectionality and thoughtful, holistic activism. Here at McFarland, we’ve curated a collection of books that further shape the discourse—books on historical 'nasty' women, academic texts about the most vulnerable members of society, and essays on the movement’s new life. Whether you’re a casual reader looking for some womanly inspiration, or a scholar hoping to better understand social issues, our women’s studies collection can help you learn about the women who have spoken, protested and persisted. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code WOMEN18, print editions of all women's studies books are 20% off now through November 30.

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  Dr. Crippen
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 10-29-2018, 10:19 AM - Forum: Other Cases of Interest - No Replies

Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged for the murder of his wife, Cora Henreitta Crippen, in 1910. He is of interest for a couple of reasons. First, Walter Dew, who worked the murder of Mary Jane Kelly, was the detective to track him down and arrest him. Indeed, Dew's memoirs are entitled I Caught Crippen. Originally published in 1938, I Caught Crippen is now out of print, but an annotated (and much more affordable) annoted edition is available from Mango Books. Second, Dew was able to catch Crippen thanks to wireless telegraph. Erik Larson's Thunderstruck alternates the stories of Crippen and Guglielmo Marconi much in the same way The Devil in the White City combined H H Holmes' biography with the story of the Colombian Exposition.

Crippen was born in 1862 and attended both the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical School and the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College. When his first wife died, Crippen turned their two-year-old son over to the care of his parents. He married his second wife, Corrine "Cora" Turner - a music hall singer whose stage name was Belle Elmore - two years later. The couple moved to England in 1897 where Cora pursued her stage career and apparently a number of affairs.

Crippen was not qualified to practice medicine in England and he lost his job as a patent medicine distributor in 1899. At his new position as manager of Drouet's Institution for the Deaf, he hired a typist named Ethel Le Neve. Crippen and Le Neve began their affair by 1905, the year in which the Crippens began taking in lodgers for aother source of income. Cora had an affair with one of these lodgers, so Crippen retaliated by officially taking Le Neve as his mistress in 1908.

The last time anyone could recall seeing Cora was at a party at their home on January 31, 1910. Crippen told everyone that Cora had left him and returned home to the States, and later added that she had died. Le Neve, meanwhile, moved in with Crippen and began wearing her clothes and jewelry. When suspicions were cast upon Cora's disappearance and Walter Dew interviewed Crippen, the doctor changed his story and said he had lied about his wife's death in order to hide the fact that she had left him for one of her lovers. Dew performed a quick search of the house and was apparently satisfied that this new story was the truth, although Crippen and Le Neve panicked and fled. After one night at a hotel they boarded a ship bound for Canada.

This suspicious behavior meant that Scotland Yard performed three more searches of the house and, during the last search, uncovered a human torso buried under the brick floor of the basement. The rest of the body was never recovered, and as recently as 2007 the identify of that person has been contested. At the time, however, it was concluded that the torso belonged to Cora and that Crippen had murdered her.

Meanwhile on the ship Le Neve had disguised herself, apparently poorly, as a boy. The ship's captain recognized the couple as the fugitives and made use of the ship's wireless transmitter to alert the British authorities. Dew boarded a faster ship and met a surprised Crippen in the St Lawrence River, confronting Crippen in Canada so that he would not have to be extradited from the States. Crippen surrendered willingly enough, apparently relieved that he had been caught and did not have to continue wondering when this day would come.

Thanks to the wireless telegraph, newspapers all over the world - even those printed on other ocean liners - were able to keep up with the story and follow the trans-Atlantic chase. These headlines were, of course, not published on the ship where Crippen and Le Neve were passengers, although the captain was clearly aware of them.

During the trial the identity of the torso was contested, since it was impossible to determine whether it belonged to a man or a woman. The prosecution argued it must belong to Cora due to an identifying scar, while the defense made the case that it was no scar but a mere fold of tissue. In spite of this lack of positive identification, the jury needed only 27 minutes to declare Crippen guilty. He was hanged on November 23.

Le Neve was charged with being an accessory after the fact and acquitted. At her request, her photograph was buried with Crippen.

Crippen's guilt has frequently been questioned largely because of the lack of identification of the person whose torso was found in his house's basement.

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  Emma Elizabeth Smith
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 10-17-2018, 09:17 AM - Forum: Beyond the Five - No Replies

Emma Elizabeth Smith's death is usually connected only tangentially to the Canonical Five, generally as an example of the brutal life facing sex workers in the East End. She died on April 4, 1888 as a result of injuries from a brutal attack.

Very little is known about Emma Elizabeth Smith, although she may have had two children. According to Inspector Walter Dew - famous for being the man who caught Dr. Hawley Crippen when he fled as a suspect in his wife's murder - she didn't tell her friends much other than that she was a widow and wasn't in contact with anyone from her old life.

On April 3, Smith returned to her lodging house and reported that she'd been attacked by two or three men. Since the Ripper is assumed to have worked alone, this is one reason why she is not usually included in discussions of the Ripper murders. The lodging house deputy and another lodger helped Smith to the hospital, but she slipped into a coma and died the next day. It was discovered that a blunt object had been inserted into her vagina, rupturing her peritoneum. The police were not informed until April 6 when they were told of the inquest scheduled for the following day. The inquest returned a verdict of murder by person or persons unknown and, aside from Dew's later suggestion that the Ripper was the perpetrator, no suspects were named.

The amount of time that passed between the attack and Smith returning to her lodging house suggests that she was in a great deal of pain after the attack. She would not or could not describe her attackers, although she did let it be known that there was more than one man involved. It is generally assumed that Smith was attacked by one of the roving gangs who would beat up sex workers in order to rob them of their earnings, or that she had angered her pimps and they were punishing her for it. Either explanation highlighted the dangers of life in the East End for women who supported themselves with sex work.

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  "How Henrietta Schmerler Was Lost, Then Found"
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 10-16-2018, 08:31 AM - Forum: Miscellany - No Replies

How Henrietta Schmerler Was Lost, Then Found by Nell Gluckman

This is an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, published October 14, 2018. It's about anthropology student Henrietta Schmerler who was murdered in 1931, and how her death has been represented in academia and especially the field of anthropology since. Schmerler had been sent to work on a reservation and was reported to have been last seen on horseback with an Apache man. The reason I've linked it here is this sort of discussion:

Quote:Perhaps she did not conduct herself as discreetly as she could. That language will sound painfully familiar not only to women who have faced sexual violence, but to anyone who has paid attention to our yearlong national reckoning over assault and harassment. Even after it’s become an axiom not to blame the victims, we still probe stories about sexual violence for explanations and moral lessons. There are many reasons for this; one of the subtler ones is so that we can tell ourselves that it won’t happen to us or the people we know — we wouldn’t make that mistake.

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  Martha Tabram
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 10-15-2018, 09:13 AM - Forum: Beyond the Five - No Replies

Most commonly discussions of Jack the Ripper focus on - or at least mention - the concept of the Canonical Five: Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Kate Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. The "real" number of women murdered by the same killer varies, however, and more recent works on the Ripper tend to include Martha Tabram's murder.

Martha White was born in 1849, the youngest of five children. Her parents separated in 1865 and her father died shortly thereafter. Martha first lived with, then married, Henry Samuel Tabram, and the couple had two children. Henry left her in 1875 because of her heavy drinking and reduced her allowance when he heard she was living with another man. She continued to live with Henry Turner on and off until a few weeks before her death, although their relationship was troubled both by her continued drinking and by his unemployment.

On the night before her murder, Martha was out with another woman named Mary Ann Connelly and called Pearly Poll. Tom Wescott, in his book The Bank Holiday Murders (2014), suggests that more attention needs to be placed on Pearly Poll because of the way the events of that night unfolded, and because of her following interactions with the police. On the night of Martha's murder, Pearly Poll said that the two of them had gone off with a couple of soldiers. Martha likely took her soldier to the landing of the George Yard building where her body was found early in the morning of August 7, 1888. Because the landing was not lit, she was at first mistaken for simply being asleep. Martha had, in fact, been stabbed thirty-nine times. The fact that one of these wounds was possibly inflicted by a bayonet just helped point the finger at the soldier with whom she had last been seen.

At first Pearly Poll hid from the police and then missed the first scheduled identity parade at which she was meant to point out the two soldiers she and Martha had been with that night. After the first one she did attend, she provided the police with a further detail of their uniforms that meant she had just looked through the wrong soldiers. After a second parade at a different barracks, Pearly Poll selected two men whose alibis for the night of the murder were sound. In his book, Wescott explores the ways in which Poll derailed the investigation and argues that her actions were purposeful because she knew the identity of the Ripper and therefore felt threatened.

Henry Tabram was the one who formally identified his estranged wife's body. No suspect was ever named, although her death inquest gave a verdict of murder.

After Polly Nichols' murder on August 31, the two women's murders were connected in the papers - a rhetorical move that continued through the rest of the canonical five murders. Police at the time also connected the cases. Later writings have avoided the connection because Martha Tabram's throat was not cut, and her body was not mutilated in the same manner as the other five. Lately, however, authors have made the argument that this may have been the Ripper's first murder and he had not yet fully developed his preferred method of killing.

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  Esther Rodgers
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 10-09-2018, 02:20 PM - Forum: Other Cases of Interest - No Replies

Esther Rodgers is a bit more tangential than these other cases. She was not a murder victim but in fact hanged for confessed infanticide in 1701. (In fact, she confessed to two cases although she had only been under suspicion of one.)

At this time in New England there were strict procedures for those who had sinned so greatly that their punishment would be death. The condemned was expected to confess and to take instruction from a minister - or a number of them - while waiting for the day of execution. That minister would preach an execution sermon prior to the event at which the repentant criminal would be present, and the minister could focus on how this specific member of the community wasn't really any different from the rest of them. The condemned prisoner had just sinned in a way that led to death, although the perfect example of a prisoner confessed it and went the gallows willingly, accepting the consequences of their actions. Their story, though, was told by the minister - usually (but not always) Puritan, and definitely male, and if the condemned said any final words, they would have been carefully vetted.

Rodgers, however, wasn't having any of it. She confessed, yes, but took her narrative into her own hands. Ministers did visit her while she was imprisoned, but she also took instruction from the townspeople. Since she was publicly penitent, those ministers directed attention to her during the execution sermon and then on the day itself, when Rodgers was given the allotted time to say her own last words.

She walked to the gallows under her own power, which was impressive enough in and of itself, but then Rodgers also turned her last words into a stirring, emotional speech in which she pleaded with the audience to keep themselves straying as she had strayed. There were somewhere around five thousand gathered for the event to listen, and a wider audience received the printed execution pamphlet afterward. (This, however, was under full control of the ministers who dictated what, exactly, should be printed.)

Rodgers is an interesting case because she was a young servant girl at a time when such women had no voice and no platform from which to speak. On the day of her execution - and through her behavior in the months leading up to it - she fit herself into the mold of the perfectly penitent condemned criminal and was, at very specific points in the proceedings, able to take her narrative into her own hands rather than having it shaped purely by the ministers. In an era when such executions were almost common, she still managed to stand out even while conforming herself to the expected behavior of her time and culture.

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  Maria Bickford
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 10-02-2018, 09:44 AM - Forum: Other Cases of Interest - No Replies

If you've read about Helen Jewett, then the circumstances surrounding Maria Bickford's death feel like deja vu: in 1845 Maria Bickford was found dead in a room in a brothel with her throat slit and three fires set in the room. The man put on trial for her murder was named Albert Tirrell.

There were differences in how the women were presented, however. Bickford had been married, although she'd left her husband. The reasons given varied, but the main argument put forth in the newspapers at the time was that Bickford took a string of lovers for the money they gave her so that she could afford an extravagant lifestyle. Unlike the presentation of most sex workers of the day, it was not that Bickford craved sex, but money, and thus her husband failed her monetarily and not otherwise.

Judith Haltunnen, however, points out that this explanation is less sympathetic than it may first appear. If Bickford were a greedy woman, then Tirrell's defense could rest on the fact that the homicide was justifiable. Bickford still became a predator, which left Tirrell the role as victim and turned the murder into self defense.

At Tirrell's trial, his lawyer found a doctor willing to testify that Bickford could have slit her own throat and thrown herself from the bed to land in the position in which she was found. Death was, after all, the "natural end of the prostitute," and suicide would have had Bickford acting on these urges on her own. The alternative scenario was that Tirrell had indeed slit her throat and started the fires, although he was sleepwalking when he did so. Tirrell, a gentleman of a higher class than the murdered woman, was found not guilty in a case where even the district attorney labeled Bickford "an unblushing harlot and an undisguised adulteress."

The murders of Helen Jewett and Maria Bickford marked a turning point in crime narratives in that the victims' biographies held central roles in the story of the crime. Because the women were working in brothels, the use of their biographies also positioned how sex workers would be presented in future crime narratives: not to gain the audience's sympathy or empathy, but as evidence for why a man would be compelled to murder her in the first place.

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  Helen Jewett
Posted by: RebeccaFrost - 09-26-2018, 09:06 AM - Forum: Other Cases of Interest - No Replies

Helen Jewett made headlines in 1836 as “a work of art perpetrated by her murderer” (Gordon Bennet in the New York Herald). She was a sex worker at an upscale New York brothel, which was meant to be safe: customers could spend the night, but they were known to the madam and no woman was left completely on her own. This was why it was such a shock when Jewett was discovered dead in her bed, with ax wounds to her head and a fire filling the room with smoke around three in the morning.

Part of the newspaper appeal of her story was the fact that Helen Jewett was not her "real" name. Three separate biographies were published in an attempt to track down who she really was and where she'd come from. Eventually her history was traced back to Maine, where she had been employed as a servant girl for a justice of the Main Supreme Judicial Court. (Wikipedia wants you to know that "she developed into a sexually assertive young woman" during her employment.) Her use of various different names in Boston and New York made her movements difficult to track, but the papers eventually got there. (The fact that Jewett may have seduced one of the judge's sons just made their headlines all the more scandalous.)

Much was also made of the fact that Jewett was 22 while the man who had been identified as having spent the night in her room was 19-year-old Richard P. Robinson. Opinion was starkly divided before the trial even began, with various sources insisting that Robinson had been set up by someone who wished to ruin the young man's life. There were even suggestions that "suicide was the natural end for a prostitute," and that Jewett must have taken her own life with the ax, although it was not found in the room. Newspapers and public opinion agreed that, after all, Jewett was "just" a sex worker, so her death was hardly worth much excitement.

The murder of Helen Jewett and subsequent trial of Richard P. Robinson - found not guilty - marked a change in the reporting of crimes against sex workers and the representation of sex workers in the media. Part of the stated reason for Robinson's innocence was the fact that many of the witnesses were themselves current or former sex workers, and thus jurors disregarded their testimony. Helen Jewett was presented in the press as a vixen who preyed on innocent men since a woman, once "fallen," had no hope of redemption.

As she was the first murdered sex worker to receive such widespread media coverage, representations of Helen Jewett and Richard Robinson set the tone for future instances, including how to present a murder victim as having earned her violent death and ways in which the murderer could have his actions excused or ignored. Many of these rhetorical strategies are still employed today, although they may be more subtle and more deeply ingrained into popular culture than labeling a murdered woman "“a work of art perpetrated by her murderer.”

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