Archive for the 'Psychology & The Mind' Category

The Forgotten Victims of Jack the Ripper

We are fascinated by the Ripper – he is a legend, with countless books and films dedicated to his mystery. There’s an entire field dedicated to the study of his crimes: Ripperology.

 

But who were his tragic victims? Let’s find out…

 

 

The Forgotten Lives Of Jack The Ripper’s Victims
By Elisabeth Sherman

 

Because he was the first celebrity serial killer, Jack the Ripper’s victims and their tragic lives were always overshadowed by the man himself.

 

“Head to London for a dose of the macabre, and you won’t be disappointed. Guided tours of the Whitechapel district — where in 1888 legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper brutally cut the throats of five prostitutes and removed their organs — continue to draw in droves of tourists to this day.

 

There’s the Jack the Ripper museum, too, which opened last year to controversy. According to historian Fern Riddell, the museum intended to tell the “history of women in the East End,” but activists said the museum mainly “glamorises sexual violence against women.”

 

Beyond the outcry, it’s not entirely surprising that the museum shifted focus away from Jack the Ripper’s victims and back onto the killer himself. After all, the mystery surrounding who he was and his motivations never ceases to captivate an audience — so much so that there’s a whole field dedicated to the study of his crimes: Ripperology.

 

As some have noted, though, at its core this “thriving Ripper industry” is misogynistic, and “commercially [exploits] real-life murder victims.”

 

Regardless of the truths these criticisms may highlight, fascination with Jack the Ripper and serial killers like him endure — and experts don’t see that changing any time soon. As appears in Psychology Today, “the incomprehensibility of such actions drives society to understand why serial killers do incredibly horrible things…serial killers appeal to the most basic and powerful instinct in all of us—that is, survival.”

 

This, coupled with media market dynamics, helps cement sustained public interest in figures like Jack the Ripper…”

 

For the rest, click here. And if you’re interested, here are The Ripper Letters.

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The Hat Pin Versus The Masher: Ladies Who Fought Back

These ladies had a good point! 😉

 

 

From smithsonian.com,

 

 

“The Hatpin Peril” Terrorized Men Who Couldn’t Handle the 20th-Century Woman

 

 

To protect themselves from unwanted advances, city women protected themselves with some sharp accessories

 

By Karen Abbott

 

“On the afternoon of May 28, 1903, Leoti Blaker, a young Kansan touring New York City, boarded a Fifth Avenue stagecoach at 23rd Street and settled in for the ride. The coach was crowded, and when it jostled she noticed that the man next to her settled himself an inch closer to her. She made a silent assessment: elderly, elegantly dressed, “benevolent-looking.” The horse picked up speed and the stage jumped, tossing the passengers at one another again, and now the man was touching her, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder. When he lifted his arm and draped it low across her back, Leoti had enough. In a move that would thrill victim of modern-day subway harassment, she reached for her hatpin—nearly a foot long—and plunged it into the meat of the man’s arm. He let out a terrible scream and left the coach at the next stop.

 

“He was such a nice-looking old gentleman I was sorry to hurt him,” she told the New York World. “I’ve heard about Broadway mashers and ‘L’ mashers, but I didn’t know Fifth Avenue had a particular brand of its own…. If New York women will tolerate mashing, Kansas girls will not.”

 

Newspapers across the country began reporting similar encounters with “mashers,” period slang for lecherous or predatory men (defined more delicately in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie as “one whose dress or manners are calculated to elicit the admiration of susceptible young women”). A New York City housewife fended off a man who brushed up against her on a crowded Columbus Avenue streetcar and asked if he might “see her home.” A Chicago showgirl, bothered by a masher’s “insulting questions,” beat him in the face with her umbrella until he staggered away. A St. Louis schoolteacher drove her would-be attacker away by slashing his face with her hatpin. Such stories were notable not only for their frequency but also for their laudatory tone; for the first time, women who fought back against harassers were regarded as heroes rather than comic characters, as subjects rather than objects. Society was transitioning, slowly but surely, from expecting and advocating female dependence on men to recognizing their desire and ability to defend themselves…”

 

Read the rest here.

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The fake Nostradamus that helped foil Hitler

“The way it worked behind the facade was masterful.”

 

What a story….

 


From The Daily Beast,
Louis de Wohl: The Astrologer Who Helped Foil Hitler

 

In the run-up to WWII, British intelligence unleashed an astrologer on an unsuspecting American public to sway public opinion on the war. He was a persuasive fake.

 

by Annie Jacobsen

 

“It was the summer of 1941 and a British astrologer named Louis de Wohl was becoming wildly popular among Americans with his increasingly accurate predictions in his stargazer column, “Stars Foretell.” As de Wohl’s reader numbers escalated to meteoric heights, real world consequences ensued. In August 1941, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted its long-standing ban against astrologers and aired an exclusive interview with the man being heralded as “The Modern Nostradamus.” Just a few weeks later, for the first time in U.S. history, an astrologer was filmed for a U.S. newsreel, the TV news of the day. “Pathe? News released the newsreels’ seminal plunge into prophecy with a nation-wide audience of 39,000,000 sitting as judge jury and witness,” declared a press release issued by de Wohl’s manager. Except it was a facade; it was all fake news.

 

 

De Wohl’s newspaper column was part of an elaborate black propaganda campaign to organize American public opinion in favor of Britain, and to ultimately get the U.S. to enter the war. In reality, de Wohl worked for British Intelligence (MI5). His so-called manager was none other than the legendary spymaster Sir William Stephenson, a man whom Winston Churchill famously called Intrepid. The average American had no idea…”

 

Click here for the rest.

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