Jack the Ripper - Another Look

Jack the Ripper?

Source
Image from the Illustrated London News for October 13, 1888
Image from the Illustrated London News for October 13, 1888 | Source

Introduction to Jack The Ripper

No one really knows who Jack the Ripper was. Speculation? You bet. From Prince Albert Victor to Lewis Carroll, theories abound. A serial killer that ran rampant over one hundred years ago still holds the interest of many today. As an aside, a serial killer is one who kills two or more people. So what makes Jack the Ripper so intriguing?

I have been fascinated by the whole Jack the Ripper story since first seeing a movie about it years ago. Thanks to a lovely person called blonde-logic I have chosen to write about Jack the Ripper.

As an introduction let's take a look at the origins of Jack the Ripper. Was he the first serial killer ever? Certainly not, but, he was a serial killer in a time when society had the ability to print newspapers and detailed posters. People were able to follow Jack the Ripper through daily newspaper accounts just as we would today on TV. The people's fascination with his crimes was not unlike the fascination we see today with constant media coverage and everyone watching and talking about it. In 1888, a way to sell newspapers, writing about "The Whitechapel Murderer". He was also referred to as "Leather Apron" in the Manchester Guardian. In addition to the newspaper accounts there were some books written at the time, most of them useless. Print helped spread interest in Jack the Ripper and keep the people advised as to what was and wasn't happening to capture him.

Though the most popular count of his victims is five, some believed he killed as many as nine. The first was believed to be Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, murdered Friday, August 31, 1888. The location of this and subsequent murders drew attention to the horrible living conditions in the "East End".

Wanted Poster from 1888

Source

Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols

Mary Ann was previously married to one William Nichols. They were divorced and Mr. Nichols sent support payments to Mary until he found out she was prostituting herself. I didn't realize they had five children together and that they were married for twenty-five years though there were many separations during those twenty-five years. With the final separation and divorce, the children were living with William and yes, Mary was a prostitute. Though there is much more to the life story of Mary Ann Nichols, we are here to look at Jack the Ripper, unfortunately Mary Ann was Jack's first victim and probably one of the most famous.

Mary Ann was seen when she was turned away from renting a bed because she had no money. She was last seen alive at the corner of Osborn Street and Whitechapel Road after it is believed she earned enough money to pay for that bed. Unfortunately for Mary no one heard or saw anything prior to cart driver Charles Cross finding her body. Her throat had been slit twice and her stomach mutilated. Addtionally she had teeth missing, a bruise on her face as well as the cuts on her stomach. The coroner believed the injuries were caused by someone who was left-handed. Poor Mary, the first known victim of Jack the Ripper. The Coroner additionally concluded she was murdered at about 3:00 a.m. where her body was found, occupation at the time of death, prostitution. By the time the Inquest for Mary was finished, another body had been found. So the bloody legacy of Jack the Ripper began.

George Bagster Phillips - performed Ripper autopsies

Source

Subsequent Jack the Ripper Murders

Annie Chapman was the next victim. Similar to Mary, Annie had no money for a bed to sleep in so she went out to earn some. This time a witness had seen Annie just before her death and described the man she saw. He was a little taller than Annie, over forty, dark complexion, foreign, "shabby-genteel" appearance, wearing a deer stalker hat and dark overcoat.

Annie also had her throat cut and was disemboweled with part of her uterus missing. The police made several arrests but all of them proved to be innocent people. Elizabeth "Long Liz" Stride was next. Her body was found in an alley and the police believe she went into the alley willingly thinking perhaps she was going in with a client, yes, Liz too was a prostitute. Like the two before her, her throat was cut, however, her body was not mutilated.

On the same night as the death of Elizabeth Stride, the body of Catherine Eddowes was found. She had died between 1:35 a.m. and 1:45 a.m. Again, a cut throat and intestines taken out of her body. As with the others her death was caused by her throat being slashed and all other mutilation took place after her death.

What now becomes interesting is a post card sent to the Central News Agency, claiming that he, Jack the Ripper, was responsible for the double murders. The post card however, was later believed to be a hoax. Several letters followed but they too were believed to be fake.

The fifth victim, Mary Jane Kelly, was murdered on November 9, 1888. She was found dead in her bed. She too died from a slit throat and her body was horribly mutilated. Hers was more brutal than the four before her. She was also younger than the other four, and murdered in her home not an alley.

Jack the Ripper Suspects

  • Montague John Druitt
  • Seweryn Klosowski alias George Chapman
  • Aaron Kosminski
  • Michael Ostrog
  • John Pizer
  • James Thomas Sadler
  • Francis Tumblety
  • William Henry Burry
  • Thomas Neill Cream
  • Frederick Bailey Deeming




More About Jack the Ripper

Interview with Jack the Ripper - Hub pages own drbj

Jack the Ripper Biography - bio.True Story

Jack the Ripper Suspects - the Telegraph

How Jack the Ripper Worked - How Stuff Works

Who Was Jack the Ripper?

At the time of the actual murders there were several suspects but none could be proven. Newspaper coverage spread throughout Europe and America. These five murders were committed between August and November with all murders within one mile of each other. Yes, several other murders are attributed to Jack the Ripper but none proven so. The murders suddenly stopped after Mary Jane Kelly.

What manner of sociopath was responsible for these brutal, mutilating murders? Believe me, they were even more brutal than depicted in movies about Jack the Ripper and it seems the mutilations escalated with each of his victims. He struck at night, like a bad horror movie, coming out of the fog only long enough to kill and destroy his victims.

In researching this piece I found that violence towards prostitutes was not uncommon in 1888 but nothing reached the magnitude of these murders. Because of the mutilations it was believed the killer was either a doctor or a butcher.

Its fairly obvious we will never know who Jack the Ripper really was, or will we? Today there are some still looking at one Carl Feigenbaum who was executed at Sing Sing Prison in 1894 for the brutal murder of his landlady in New York City. Apparently Feigenbaum's lawyer said Feigenbaum suffered from "psychotic episodes that would cause him to brutally murder women". He further stated that Feigenbaum was in London during the Ripper murders. As with all things Jack the Ripper, investigation continues. What do you think? I'd really love to have you leave some comments.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Jack the Ripper Documentary - Part 1 of 6

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Comments 50 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Good information and yes, I learned a few new things. I find it fascinating that there were serial killers in the late 1800's. One would think that it was a recent phenomena here in the U.S., but in fact there have always been those who prey on others.

Thanks for the interesting hub, Mary! Well done!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I know Bill. I learned a lot writing this hub too! I guess man's inhumanity to man is not something new! You are most welcome for the hub, thank you for reading it ;)


web923 profile image

web923 3 years ago from Twentynine Palms, California

While reading this hub I found myself empathizing with the homeless women who were most vulnerable to his attacks. I see a lot of people lately who are in a similar situation and I hope it doesn't take another "ripper" to rally people to their dilemma. Great Hub and very informative!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

You make an excellent point Web923...I hope it doesn't take something so horrible to rally people either. Thanks for reading and leaving such a good comment.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

I, too, Mary, was fascinated by the macabre story of Jack the Ripper. So much so that I wrote 'Interview with Jack the Ripper.' If you would like to link it to your hub I will be happy to reciprocate. Just let me know.

Excellent research, m'dear. And I ought to know. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I would be honored and happy to link to your hub! I should have known you'd have interviewed him, you do interview all the most important people....


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco

Oh my, morbid-- but fascinating! I love historical mysteries like this.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi Mary (Till),

I have always been fascinated too about the Jack the Ripper stories. You have provided much insight that I did not know of before.

Excellent write here.

Yes, there were even monsters way back then!

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 3 years ago from Brazil

Very interesting. I had no idea the murders were so close together. For some reason I thought they spanned over a few years.

I wonder if something will come to light regarding this. Were articles of clothing or other victim's effects kept back as a grisly memento by a someone, perhaps?

Heavens if they can find a king buried in a parking lot, why can't they find this murderer?

It is still a fascinating topic even after so many years.

Thanks for the mention.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Christy I think that is what makes it fascinating...its morbid and its over!

Ah Faith, I think we are drawn to these things like the moth to the flame. Unfortunately there have been monsters since Eve bit into that apple! Thanks for the votes and share. God bless.

I am so thrilled you found this interesting Blond Logic. I couldn't help but mention my inspiration! They say there are still sealed police records so who knows.


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

I'm still trying to figure out the tie-in with Blond Logic. : )

Mary, you've stepped away from your usual fare with this one. I've been watching the new series, Hannibal, and have been fascinated with the superior intellect and mental gamesmanship of both the title character and the tormented protagonist...and so I was interested in your take on this infamous serial killer. It appears, at this point anyway, that the mystery will never be solved. The one thing we can be assured of, however, is that Hollywood will continue to resurrect this demonic madman with slight variations over time. Aloha, my friend.

Joe


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I don't want to leave you scratching your head Joe. Blond-logic is a hubber who wrote a hub about topics for hubs...voila, Jack the Ripper!

I've been watching Hannibal too and find it disturbing in that it shows the twists and turns a mind can take.

So many takes on Jack the Ripper but as an unsolved mystery I think you're right, Hollywood will keep coming back to it.

Aloha to you too my friend.


brackenb profile image

brackenb 3 years ago

Very good Hub on a subject that has captured the minds of many for so long. Like the majority of people, I'll never understand what motivates such brutality.


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

Lewis Caroll!!??? No way! This was very interesting. Human kind sure does come up with some sick puppies!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you brackenb. It is a bit scary that such brutality lives on long after the crime itself.

Yes, Lewis Carroll, I couldn't believe it either. We are definitely a strange breed us humans ;)


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Mary,

I had heard about Jack the Ripper, but I did not know these things. It is sad that man can inflict so much cruelty.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America

Well-made Hub, I must say. Rated Up and more.

My two favorite analyses of the Ripper crimes are by Patricia Cornwell, who was a research forensics person before becoming an author, and M.L. Trow the historian from the Isle of Wight. Trow also has a long list of Ripper books, including analyses - his latest being the best - and historical fiction wherein he lifts Inspector Lestrade from Conan Doyle and has him investigate the Ripper and other criminals in a set of first rate historical fiction books that incorporate great humor.

Still, great writers - and anyone - can put together all the pieces and perhaps still be incorrect with the outcome. On discussion forums, one gentlemen of the UK claims his father solved the case at Scotland Yard and he seems quite angry with the writers and researchers of today.

Overall, still an interesting case and quite an Industry in its own right in UK, what with all the package Ripper Tours - those are catching on in USA, as some theorists feel that Jack came here and killed more people. All very interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Truly Vinaya, to be so savage toward another human being is incomprehensible.

Cornwell is said to be one of the influences for one of my favorite program, CSI: Crime Scene Investigations. It is interesting that she is still trying to prove artist Walter Sickert as Jack the Ripper. I'll have to check out Trow. Well, if you believe that Feigenbaum may have been Jack the Ripper then he surely did come to America. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment Patty.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Mary,

You have greatly enhanced my knowledge about Jack the Ripper...I love and share your fascination with what makes the deviant human mind tick...excellent, well- detailed research.

Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

Great hub on the sick mind of Jack the Ripper. His story keeps us captivated.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi, Jack the Ripper, if he was alive and doing this today would probably be caught really quickly, and thats the sad and mysterious thing about him. I always knew us left hand southpaws were a bit dodgy! lol! I often wonder if they were looking in the wrong place, or wrong gender. who's to say it wasn't a woman? maybe her husband had gone out visiting ladies of the night and she wanted to get her own back! great hub, and voted and shared! nell


Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields 3 years ago from Northern California

Hi Mary,

About the hat. Only Sherlock himself is allowed to wear a Deerstalker cap. Oh, wait a minute. Oh no!

Voted up, interesting, and shared.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

H.H. Holmes, a person with medical experience, is also a likely suspect for Jack the Ripper. He had his own thing going on in Chicago during the World's Fair, and creatively killed women as well. Then it stopped. Don't worry, Jack the Ripper is on my back burner.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I have always been fascinated by him. And I also wonder how he managed to keep his real identity masked all this time...perhaps it's because they did not have the technology to do much unmasking then. With CI these days, I guess he would've been caught quickly if the murders happened during this era! Thanks for sharing!! WOW.


TheKatsMeow profile image

TheKatsMeow 3 years ago from Canada

I have always been interested in Jack the Ripper and I always love reading more about him and the theories surrounding who it could have been. It's a sad and creepy story that will always fascinate people.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

I remember reading about Jack the Ripper as a young person. For some reason most serial killers seem to pick on women. Previously women they believed to be of questionable character, but more recently killers haven't been quite so particular.

I was surprised to learn there are investigators still attempting to solve these crimes since they were more than a hundred years ago. I should think it's a difficult trail to follow.

I can tell you did a lot of research on this hub and I commend you. Well written as your articles always are. Voted this hub up, interesting and awesome. Will share with my followers.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Ah Maria, so many deviants among us ;) So much research to choose from it was difficult to narrow this one down!

WND, I know, I wonder if that is any reflection on us?

True Nell, one of the theories was that it could've been a woman, after all women are not exempt from insanity. I don't think you're at all dodgy m'dear, at least no more than the rest of us ;)

Oh no Larry, another suspect ;)

I think Jack the Ripper is still on a lot of back burners avian.

Definitely Michelle. Today's technology certainly would've tracked him down but if one of the theories, that he was dying when he committed the murders is true maybe CSI couldn't find him either.

TheKats Meow I believe you are right and the fascination with Jack the Ripper and Ripperology will continue.

It is amazing Au fait that they are still trying to solve these mysteries, but I guess some think no case is too cold. Thank you for the compliments my friend and for sharing.


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

I have personally decided that we will never known for sure who that monster was... Very good hub.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Fascinating story Mary. Interesting to know that there were lunatics even back then who senselessly took the lives of others. I'm not sure they'll ever figure this one out but with the technology today who knows. All very interesting. Voted up, shared, etc...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I sometimes wonder Mike...things they've kept quiet that we don't know about.

Bill you never know. They can do strange things with DNA and have even used DNA from people buried in the 1600's to find out about diseases or cause of death...you never know...thanks for the votes, shares, etc.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Jack the Ripper sounds a bit creepy. I learned more than I actually wanted to know. Thanks Tills. I think.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Always happy to keep you on your toes Linda ;)


point2make profile image

point2make 3 years ago

An interesting hub...you certainly have done your homework. Jack the Ripper has captured the imagination of many around the world. The open case is not only a frightening look at 19th century London but the Ripper still has the ability to scare the dickens out of us. Perhaps scariest of all is this character did not come out of some Victorian novel. He was real and even today, all these years later, he can still inhabit our nightmares. Good hub...well done. voted up.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm glad you enjoyed my hub point2make. Yes, I did some research and have to admit he was scarier than even I thought. I think the reason he still fascinates and scares is because he was never caught! Thank you for stopping by and the vote.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Mary, i ADORE Jack! lol

the psychology of serial killers interests me greatly - i watch it and read it and try..put it together..(impossible..but..)

Here's something i didn't know that REALLY caught my attention - JR was a LEFTY!!

Did you that TWENTY percent of all schizophrenics are left handed and yet - only TEN percent of the population are lefties!

There is a direct link between BOTH hemisphere's of the brain firing at the same time - which lefties and ambi's brains do - and mental disorders, including add and ptsd..

Geez..i know that first hand- being a pure lefty who was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder akin to ptsd!

btw..how OLD was mary to be a prostitute after 25 years of marriage and 5 kids...omg..

AND make a living..

either good for her (ya know what i mean) or - men were so desperate back then that 'any shelter in a storm' was their motto..

love this hub..leaned forward in my seat to read it...

voting sharing


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 3 years ago from USA

I read a very interesting book on the subject of Jack the Ripper several years ago. The research implicated an artist in London at the time. I can't remember the author, or the artist..Sorry... I just remember thinking the information was comprehensive and believable.

Nice article above!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Welllll Leslie, Mary Ann was 43, definitely an interesting situation. I had no idea you were a lefty, my hubby and two grandchildren are too. My hubby however is the strong, silent type...well the silent type...seriously, he is left-handed. You provided me with information I didn't know about lefties, very interesting. Thanks for the great comment, YOU are appreciated as is your vote and share.

RunAbstract, thank you so much for reading my hub. I'm sure there are many believable theories but the problem is they are all just theories!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

A million dollar question: "What kind of sociopath was responsible for these (and so many other) brutal, mutilating murders?"

I hate unresolved cases like Jack the Ripper's. Humans are born with a sense for the juridical. Sinners have to be punished! Brutal criminals deserve no mercy! And yet, according to Christian principles humans may not seek revenge....

Voted up and interesting :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Martie you certainly present the conundrum we all face, wanting justice and yet being Christian. Thanks for the votes my friend.


jdw7979 profile image

jdw7979 3 years ago from Middle America

Good read. Sadly, this mystery may go on until the end of time. It is however one scary, yet fascinating topic.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

That's it jdw, scary, gory, and yes, sadly fascinating. Thanks for reading.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Fascinating hub. I have always been interested in Jack the Ripper. When I was in London I took the "Jack the Ripper" tour. It was really interesting although embellished for effect. We even had a girl faint because the guide got a little gruesome. This is one of those mysteries that is even more interesting because in my opinion it remains unsolved.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I think so too Glimmer Twin. If it had been solved it probably would just be history.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Yes, I'd heard of Jack the ripper. I read about him sometime in the past though I don't recollect when; must have been ages ago.

Interesting read and I didn't know there were as many as 9 suspects for this guy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Yes Rajan, at least nine suspects and no one arrested or guilty!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Hello and good afternoon Mary from lake erie time ontario canada 3:38pm courtesy of Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel and yes I have always been fascinated with the Jack the Ripper mystery myself and I found your page full of enlightening facts and intriguing points of view.

Just recently I wrote one (in the last 2 weeks, I write so many, lol) about Jack actually being a Jill.

Thank you for this essential and definitive treatment of the Ripper story which still haunts our psyche to this very day and I will post and link your fine work here to my FB page for all to see and read.

Every now and then I go to You Tube and watch an updated documentary on this case ......

Sending big hugs to you from Canada and the three of us


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Oh Epi how smart you are! You are not the only one that thinks Jack may have been a Jill. I will need to go and read your writing about this...is it on HP? I have overnight tonight at my in-laws so won't be on the computer again till tomorrow afternoon but I'll look.

Bless you and Tiff and Gabriel all snug up in Ontario. Hugs.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

I think we are still fascinated by the Ripper story--and it highlights the brutality of the lives many women --then and now


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

This is one of those things that will never be resolved, I believe. There must have been some kind of cover-up. Unsolved mysteries are very intriguing. Well done, Mary.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

You are so right Audrey, it is horribly fascinating.

Phyllis, I believe there was some kind of cover up too but we'll never know.

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