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Blimeyhecks

In the UK there was speculation in The Mail that Crippen was a backstreet abortionist, and that 'explains' the body in the cellar. I didn't realise he wasn't a properly qualified Dr either - he qualified in homeopathy. The whole thing is very strange.

Kevin M. Sullivan

I would think, had Crippen been responsible for a body in his basement due to a botched abortion, he would have said so at his trial. That would have been the time to come clean, so as to save his hide, by pleading to a lesser charge than premeditated murder. If Crippen is not the killer we have all come to believe he is, I would be quite surprised. Of course,I still believe the old boy is as guilty as sin.

An Avid Reader

@blimeyhecks

I am not certain pleading guilty to being a bungling abortionist would have saved him at that period in time.....

Fiz

It's well know that Crippen was a quack doctor but I have never found it mentioned anywhere that he was an abortionist. Just supposing he had been, it would not have been carried out at his home but elsewhere.Only backstreet female abortionists did them at home. I must admit I hate the things he was selling - Tuberculozyne, guarenteed to cure TB when there were a 1,000 new cases of of TB a week in London alone. False hope, just as the ear drops he was prescribing. However that doesn't make him a murderer. I suspect (against my will) that being married to Kunegunde Mackatmotski, Cora Crippen, Belle Elmore was exhausting and totally exasperating. Mind you, his first wife, Charlotte, died very suddenly - she went into convulsions and died just before their second baby was due - it could have been eclapsia, it could have been strychinine - who knows?

Kevin M. Sullivan

It's true, Crippen may have suffered the same fate if he was only a killer by way of a botched abortion. The world was not as tolerant on crimes of any sort in those years. Indeed, it wasn't too far removed from Crippen's time, (relatively speaking) when the authorities were hanging children,(perhaps teenagers) in London's Hyde Park for stealing bread.

Laura

I doubt he performed abortions. Homeopaths were not trained or permitted to perform surgery. They're no more doctors than dental hygenists are dentists.

Of course, Crippen being a moron, maybe he did them anyway.

I know of one case from 1910 of a Detroit doctor who botched an abortion, dismembered the poor woman, and was sentenced to a 15-year minimum term. I think much of that sentence can be attributed to the dismemberment.
http://laurajames.typepad.com/clews/2006/07/the_mysterious_.html
Part II - http://laurajames.typepad.com/clews/2006/07/the_mysterious__1.html

Faye Musselman

I agree, Laura. I doubt he performed abortions. And I also agree he would not have qualified for Mensa.

Blimeyhecks

Hi guys, I got the 'botched abortion' theory from the Daily Mail article mentioned in the other Crippen comments on here. The suggestion in that piece was that Crippen basically turned his hand to anything and everything - even it says dental work, and quite possibly gynaecological medicine. In the UK, standardisaton of Dr's and medical practices didn't occur til the '30's, and we didn't have the NHS till the late 40's, or legalised abortion till the late '60's - I think it's highly possible he could have performed them.

Laura

Another hypothesis on why he kept the body parts - gratification. Sexual and/or simply emotional. Maybe he liked knowing Mrs. Crippen was down there in the basement.

Take that, Cora, you bitch!

-- just like Ed Kemper liked knowing there were body parts buried in the yard facing his room.

Don't sneer - the "pervert of the week" could be the "pervert of the hour" - I've learned more than I wanted to learn about sexual perversions by looking at my site statistics!

Blimeyhecks

I'm liking your theory that the slide isn't the correct one as well...the police bungle evidence often enough in 2007...never mind a hundred years ago. There was no such thing as 'securing the crime scene' (see also Portugal, 2007!!) or, I doubt, huge attention to detail.

One wonders what Ethel would've made of it all. She built a life for herself after Crippen was hanged and had two kids...apparently they weren't even aware of who she was, or what had happened to her until, I think, after her death.

jasmine

I ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE PURPOSELY DESPOSED OF THE BODIES INTO CRIPPEN'S BASEMENT...IF ENOUGH TESTS ARE TAKEN AND MORE EVIDENCE IS FOUND ABOUT THE CASE IT HAS A 75% CHANCE THAT MAYBE CRIPPEN DIDNT KILL HIS WIFE MAYBE IT WAS A CASE OF AUDULTRY...... NO ONE REALLY KNOWS..THE FACT THAT HAS EVERYONE BELIEVING THAT IT WAS CRIPPEN IS THE FACT THAT THE BODIES WERE FOUND IN HIS BASEMENT ...THE TRUE UNANSWERED QUESTION IS,WERE HIS FINGERPRINTS ON THE BODIES?, IF SO THERES NO QUESTION ABOUT THE FACT THAT EITHER CRIPPEN MURDERED THE VICTIMS OR WAS A PARTICIPANT

Kevin M. Sullivan

Ah, Kemper...as much as a monster as Ted, but without the charm!

Fiz

Doctors who committed abortions at that date were very hard to catch and even harder to convict - see the books on Sir Bernard Spilsbury. Only wealthy society women could afford doctors who dealt in this field and for the rest it was the back street friendly abortionist, who would kill you - accidentally - soon as look at you

Blimeyhecks

I'm still bemused by the fact that the 'non DNA' is taken as proof of Crippen's innocence...it doesn't get away from the fact that there was a body in the cellar (am I wrong or had it been covered in lime to destroy it?). Also, wasn't there a clothing label on the body that dated from 1908, well into the time that Crippen had the house, meaning that the body must've been buried there during his tenancy?

Fiz

1905, Blimey, and proved to belong to Crippen - the pyjamas that Belle had bought for him at Peter Jone's, a Holloway department store (then), which he then wrapped some of the remains in.

Blimeyhecks

And how come the body was so decomposed...was it lime?

Fiz

He did use lime, but it actually helps to preserve bodies! (kudos to whoever said Crippen never did anything properly!) However since she'd been totally filleted and I believe there were no bone remains and he probably dropped Belle's head from the ship taking him and little Ethel (I'm sure she knew a lot more than she ever said - I can't stand her!) to France to pick up a servant to tidy up Belle's sluttish houskeeping. It's not like there were no servants in London in 1910,so it is possible the whole trip was solely arranged to dispose of what he couldn't fillet.

Blimeyhecks

I'm sure Ethel knew more than she let on. I mean they cocked that up as well didn't they - her posing as a boy on the Transatlantic ship. They were seen walking hand in hand by the captain, and I don't think they chopped her hair off either.

Ivan Dolynskyj

The DNA work only tells us that the tissue on the slide is no match to the decendants of Cora Crippen's sister Bertha. Only her three sisters, Theresa, a full sister, and Louise and Katie, both half-sisters, feature in her story. Theresa went to London to testify at Crippen's trial, Louise received the letter from Crippen telling of Cora's supposed death in California, and Katie had recently given birth to Cora's newest nephew. Was Mary Wolff, Cora's mother, also Bertha's mother? That's the first question.

What we do know is that after 1:30 am February 1, 1910, Cora Crippen was not seen again by her family in America or friends in London. Her husband acted as if he knew he would never see her again and face up to his actions: pawning her jewellery, giving away her clothes, telling Le Neve's friends and family they were married a week or more before posting Cora's death notice in a newspaper. Cora made no contact with anyone in England even after the worldwide publication of the story of Crippen's flight from the police, his capture in Canada and trial in London.

The fleshy remains were wrapped in a pyjama jacket matching those owned by Crippen and of a type only made within a year or so of the remains being found. Crippen had left valuables in safe, in the office of his former employer, in March 1910 with instruction they be given to Le Neve if he should disappear. On the afternoon of his police questioning, he confirmed that instruction with the office manageress. The implication being he knew he may have to flee London and did not intend to take Le Neve with him. That evening, Le Neve's nerves gave way and he had no choice but to take her with him, hence the improvised disguise.

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J. Patrick Crippen

The "torso" is one of Belle's lovers to whom Belle slipped some of the "medicine" Hawley used to help her sleep at night. Too much of it and a person goes berserk. He attacked Belle - she defended herself - he died. Belle got Hawley to help dispose of the body, but he kept the torso, the haircurler (weapon) and the PJ top the victim wore as blackmail. His price was Belle getting out of his life so that Ethel could fully be his. Belle simply changed her name and left for the USA.

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