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 Post subject: 2.20.14: Gian Quasar
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:08 am 
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MP3s, Streaming Audio, and updated Podcast Feed online now. Enjoy!

http://www.binnallofamerica.com/boaa022014.html

Gian Quasar
Scarlet Autumn: The Crimes and Seasons of Jack the Ripper
2 Hours, 28 Minutes

Acclaimed investigative historian Gian Quasar returns to BoA:Audio for an in-depth discussion on his latest outstanding book, Scarlet Autumn: The Crimes and Seasons of Jack the Ripper. Over the course of this comprehensive conversation, we'll retrace the events of the Ripper slayings, looking specifically at the killer's 'canonical five' victims,' and learn about the clues from the crimes that were uncovered by investigators of the era but seem to have been forgotten as time has passed.

Altogether, this is an episode that will provide listeners a far better understanding of what really happened during that terrifying autumn in London of 1888 as we strip away the mythology of the case and focus on the facts rather than the fiction surrounding the infamous Ripper killings with the incomparable Gian Quasar.

Full Preview: We kick things off by bringing folks up to speed on Gian Quasar's background and find out how he ended up researching and writing about strange mysteries. We then find out what was the initial seed that led Gian to look at the Jack the Ripper mystery. Gian goes on to talk about how the popular depiction of Jack the Ripper differs greatly from the actual accounts of the handful of witnesses who likely spotted the man. Gian then details the atmosphere, culturally and economically, of London's East End in 1888 at the time of the Ripper's infamous killing spree.

Continuing to convey the actual reality of the time and story, Gian also details the true nature of the Ripper's prostitute victims as well as the rudimentary level of criminal investigation that was undertaken by the authorities at that time, including how the case may have spawned the first-ever crime scene photographs (and only for the Ripper's final victim). We then dive into the events of Ripper killing spree, beginning with the murder of Martha Tabram in August of 1888 and we learn how her death was unlikely to be a Ripper crime, but also may have served as the impetus and inspiration for Jack's crimes.

Gian then details the first in the 'canonical five' Ripper victims: Mary Ann Nichols, who was found at the end of August 1888 with her throat slashed and almost no blood at the scene of the crime, despite also being stabbed repeatedly in her abdomen. Following the story as it unfolded, we then learn about the Ripper's second victim, Annie Chapman, and how the nature of her murder, specifically the removal of her uterus, seemed to confuse the investigation as it moved forward. Gian goes on to explain how the act of removing Chapman's uterus led to the longstanding concept of the Ripper as a doctor.

Next we look at one of the more titillating and perplexing parts of the Ripper mythos: the 'double event,' where the killer apparently struck twice in one night, killing both Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes with only a scant amount of time and distance between each slaying. Closing out the 'canonical five,' Gian details the death of Mary Jane Kelly, who is generally believed to be the final 'true' Ripper victim. We then talk about a couple of subsequent murders and discuss why they didn't seem to be Ripper murders although they were very similar.

From there, we clear up one 'urban legend' surrounding the case, which is that the Ripper almost certainly gained his infamous name as a result of a hoaxed letter which was published by one of the newspapers at the time. This leads to some discussion on how the coroner's inquests surrounding the Ripper murders provide the critical historical information surrounding the killings and allowed for a wealth of information and insights to survive the sands of time. Gian also details the extensive nature of the press coverage of the crimes as well as how, in light of what we know from the inquests, incorrectly they depicted the Ripper.

Circling back to the infamous 'double event' killings, we talk about how the first victim was positioned perfectly, in total darkness, over a rut in an alley so that her blood carefully flowed away from the murderer. Additionally, we examine how the events of the 'double event' seem to suggest that there was a pressing need, of some sort, for the killing to be done in a specific way, which may be why a second victim was felled and why her kidney was stolen when the first victim was simply killed without losing any organs. In light of the pattern of organ removal from victims, we have Gian speculate on what may have been the motivation behind the killings.

Following that, we get Gian's opinion on the possibility that the Ripper had some kind of inside knowledge of the investigation which allowed him to stay a step ahead of the police at the time. Gian also dispels the idea, put forward by one newspaper at the time, that the Ripper relied on the prostitutes' knowledge of the area in order to avoid police patrols. We return, once again, to the incredible 'skill' displayed by Ripper, specifically in the Eddowes case, where he killed her and removed her organs all while operating in total darkness and without making a sound or leaving any clues behind.

He then discusses how graffiti left near the murder scene of Eddowes added a whole new layer to the mystery as the Ripper infused an anti-Semitic message into his deeds, likely as a way of further distracting the police as to his true agenda. Gian connects this to the newspaper-created suspect known as 'Leather Apron,' which set the stage for the anti-Semitic elements which the Ripper used to his own ends. He also reflects on how suspects at the time as well as in the present day have centered around Jewish men, which seems incongruous with the actions of the Ripper and suggests that he was actually trying to incite social unrest by implicating the Jews, himself.

In light of the apparent medical or anatomical knowledge displayed in the crimes, we have Gian speculate on what sort of vocation or training the Ripper may have had. We also reflect on how the pattern of organ removal was completely overlooked by investigators of the time in favor of the simple view of a maniac on the loose. Considering the 'canonical five' as the only Ripper murders, we have Gian speculate on why the killer stopped after those victims.

We then learn about the 'Torso Killer,' who was another serial killer that was committing equally mysterious and gruesome murders at the same time as the Ripper. Gian details how the Torso Killer stunningly managed to deposit the torso of one of his victims in the basement of the new Scotland Yard that was under construction at the time. Gian also speculates on whether there was any connection, either overt or inspirational, between Jack the Ripper and the Torso Killer.

Moving beyond the events of 1888, we then look at the world of Ripperology, which is the study of the crimes and the suspects proposed over the years. We talk about how proposed suspects are often the result of information gleaned from urban legend and facts that do not fit with what we know from the inquests at the time. We also revisit another aspect of the case, where the man in charge of a concerned citizens group was mailed a kidney that may have come from one of the Ripper's victims.

Years and decades after the Ripper killings, the detectives and investigators of the time began giving interviews and writing books about the case, which Gian responds to and details why these recollections and speculation about potential suspects are faulty at best. Gian goes on to detail a number of suspects that were implicated by these investigators and explains why they do not fit the description of the Ripper. We then find out if Gian has any 'pet suspect' of his own as well as whether or not we can ever truly know who Jack the Ripper was.

Heading towards the close, we find out what became of the clothes from the Ripper victims and if there is anything that can be done, forensically, to provide additional evidence towards the case. Looking ahead to the future, we find out what's next from Gian Quasar including a look at the Zodiac mystery, where Gian believes he may have solved, and the Amelia Earhart mystery, where Gian plans to unveil some new found material and insights that show why the fate of the famed aviatrix has remained an enigma for all these years.

This interview was recorded on 2/6/2014

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 Post subject: Re: 2.20.14: Gian Quasar
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:24 pm 
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Thank you for bringing Quasar back! I have his sasquatch books. They were the first ones I saw which gave me a "realistic" basic for any belief in them. I don't believe he explains all of the sightings but I do believe he covers some history of the phenomenon.

Onto the current topic: I had no idea he was doing Ripper research. He brings up interesting points to consider. He always does. It is one of the things I most appreciate about his work. I look forward to his future AE work!.

However as to Ripper, I have to say I consider Cornwell's indictment of Walter Sichert to be most compelling. I suspect she falls under Quasar's definition of building a case to suit a suspect but her case on this convinced me. Case closed as far as I am concerned. I still enjoyed the show and his presentation.


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 Post subject: Re: 2.20.14: Gian Quasar
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:15 am 
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Breaking news today in the Daily Mail: The Ripper may have been positively identified using DNA evidence.

I made a separate thread about this in the Conspiracy, Alt. History, Earth Mysteries section on this forum: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=12830

PS. Read the entire article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... rders.html DS.

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 Post subject: Re: 2.20.14: Gian Quasar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:11 pm 
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Gian responded to this story here:

http://www.bermuda-triangle.org/site_news.html

Sounds like it doesn't wash.

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 Post subject: Re: 2.20.14: Gian Quasar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:04 pm 
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binnall wrote:
Gian responded to this story here:
http://www.bermuda-triangle.org/site_news.html
Sounds like it doesn't wash.

Yeah, I read that too. But, as a matter of fact I was extremely disappointed by his answer – especially how he chose to deal with the article and it's claims. I'll try to explain why – hope I don't come off as a grumpy (or really snarky – or maybe just manic) guy.

First of all – I really can't vouch for the claims in the Daily Mail article. Instead I hope independent DNA researchers get "on the case" as soon as possible – I eagerly await their results (no matter if the results are positive or negative). Why? Because the claims in the article – should they be true – would be a really big breakthrough in the Ripper case.

Why is this you may ask? Well, because IF (and I know it's a big if) the claims are true, and there is a shawl with DNA traces (even if it's "just" mitochondrial DNA) that can be traced to both a Ripper victim and a Ripper suspect (even if you "only" can trace them through the mother's bloodline), then this find IS a big deal. Imagine finding something like this connected to a modern murder case – I have very big problems imagining a court simply going "Kosminsky again?", roll their eyes and then don't look into it further. The Ripper case is notorious for its lack of physical evidence and how we are only left with eyewitness reports, hearsay, and speculations. If the claims in the article are true this may actually not be the case anymore.

Now, on to some of the issues I have with Gian's answer. Don't get me wrong, I think he sounds like a great guy and what I hear of his Scarlet Autumn book sounds great, but I really want to go through some of what he writes. To me, the text really illustrates the problems when your own theories get in the way. Sorry Gian. :wink:

1. First, he starts off with a smug little story, whose main point seems to be (at least to me) that anyone even considering the DNA claims is like the researcher who discovered the Piltdown skull. That skull is a known hoax, something that – according to Gian – the researcher would have been able to easily discover, had he only "bothered with all the circumstantial data". Unfortunately, genetic data (even if it's the mitochondrial DNA) doesn't work that way – it doesn't stop being valid just because someone thinks that it should. Once the Piltown man was examined in correlation with other existing data, the claims attached to it vanished into thin air. However, the only way claims based on DNA evidence could "vanish", like in the Piltdown skull case, would be if the DNA traces were proven to be faulty (for example misinterpreted, heavily decomposed or very contaminated) or simply false. Until that has happened, this is not a "Piltdown case", no matter what anyone claims.

I'm personally very open to the option that the facts in the article could be disproven – if so, the Daily Mail article will only be the latest in a long line of discarded Ripper "solutions". But we can't know this until the results have been analysed by other experts.

The problem boils down to this: either the DNA traces hold up to scrutiny or they don't. It's as simple as that. Once again: IF the claims are true, and there is a shawl with DNA traces (even if it's "just" mitochondrial DNA) that can be traced to both a Ripper victim and a Ripper suspect (even if you "only" can trace them through the mother's bloodline), then this find IS a big deal.

2. Next, he talks about how the researchers don't adhere to he scientific method. I can definitely see his point.

But yet we still return to the same spot again: IF the claims are true and there's DNA from both a victim and one of the suspects (even if we can only pinpoint it down to a "family" level due to limitations in mitochondrial DNA) – then that's a pretty fascinating discovery. Or at least it seems that way to me.

3. After this, Gian talks about the problems with the shawl. Among other things, he questions the provenance of the object. I'm with him all the way here – where did this item come from? And why is it suddenly resurfacing after some 126 years?

But unfortunately this was not the point of the article. The point was the DNA traces (supposedly) found on the shawl. Once again we return to the same spot: IF the claims are true and there is DNA that can be traced to both the victim (in the form of blood) and a suspect (in the form of semen) then that's an interesting find that could have great repercussions in the Ripper case.

4. He then talks about how the murderer could not have had time to sexually assault the victim. It would have been a fair point … if anyone had claimed this. As far as i know, no-one claims that the semen and the blood must have been added to the cloth at the exact same time.

Instead, we still have the same point again: according to the claims, there exists a shawl with DNA-tested bloodstains that appear to be from the victim and DNA-tested semen stains that apperar to come from one of the named suspects. Once again: if these claims are true, then this shawl is a pretty interesting find. Why are these DNA traces found on this item? Had a shawl, with (what at least appeared to be) blood from the victim and semen from one of the suspects, been found during a murder investigation today, it would have been considered extremely important to the case (at least until analysis proved otherwise).

5. Next he discusses Aaron Kosminsky, and the problems of him being a suspect. Once again, if Gian had just been refuting yet another Ripper theory, his points would have big merit.

But … wait for it … what about the claims about DNA traces? If the claims are true and hold up for scrutiny, then I think it would make you want to look twice – even at the suspects that you personally don't think fit the profile. Apart from this – as far as I am aware, we know very little about Kosminsky. For example, no matter what Gian writes, we don't know what kind of accent Kosminsky had.

6. Gian then brings up the case of the faux drawing of Kosminsky. I give him credit here – he's right. However, this does not in any way add or remove anything when it comes to the DNA claims. Once again (oh no, not again!) IF the claims are true, then we actually seem to have DNA samples connected to the Ripper killings. That's a pretty big deal.

7. Finally, he brings up the problems with mitochondrial DNA. Fair enough – but reading Gian's answer he simply brushes this kind of DNA aside – as if it has no value at all.

But the thing is – it actually has value. Mitochondrial DNA is used daily in criminal investigations. It is used daily as evidence in court cases. It is used daily for identifying victims from accidents and terrorism events. This is because mitochondrial DNA, though somewhat limited, contains genetic info about a person's family genes. Gian actually alludes to this when he quotes the FBI website which cautions trying to pinpoint specific individuals using only mitochondrial DNA. The quote then continues: "all maternal relatives inherit the same mtDNA".

So, if I'm understanding mr. Quasar correctly, with this quote he actually says that there is a possibility (should the DNA claims be true and verified, of course) that we have found maternal DNA connected to the Ripper case? If this is the case – why is he so quick to dismiss the claims altogether? Doesn't he find this discovery the least bit interesting? Especially considering the lack of "hard" evidence in the case.

Don't get me wrong: I really don't think that we should say "case closed" only based on this single revelation in the Daily Mail (written by two people who are releasing a book on their findings, and surely want to make money) – on the contrary: these claims should be revisited by independent experts.

But I still can't wrap my head around why some people are so quick to dismiss the entire claim – and only brush over the parts about DNA as if they don't mean anything. I presume that if the mitochondrial DNA had pointed to one of the Ripper suspects that Gian finds more plausible, he would be all over this – wanting to know more.

In a way, it's pretty similar to the people who read the Daily Mail article and claims it as the literal truth – without any questioning.

Once again: I am really looking forward to see what comes of this. Maybe it will all be shown to be a hoax or simply inconclusive. But – and this is what I'm driving at – IF the DNA claims can be verified, then this IS a big deal in Ripper research.

Edit: changed some (mis-)spellings and unclear sentences.

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Last edited by 93Gnosis on Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:40 am, edited 14 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2.20.14: Gian Quasar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Man, I really come off as a pretty over-enthusiastic guy. It's just that I've been interested in the Ripper case for some 20 years now and have been very "tickled" by the latest turn of events. I hope no one takes too much offence. :?

Like I say in the post above: I really can't vouch for the claims in the Daily Mail article. Instead I hope independent DNA researchers get "on the case" as soon as possible – I eagerly await their results (no matter if the results are positive or negative). Maybe it will all be shown to be a hoax. :D

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