Jack The Ripper, Who Do You Think Jack The Ripper Was?
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper was the name given to a serial killer active in the Whitechapel area of London in the later half of 1888.The name was taken from a letter sent to the Central News Agency by someone who claimed to be the murderer.The letter was later published in the newspapers during the same time period.
The legends surrounding the Ripper murders have become a combination of genuine historical research, conspiracy theory and folklore. The lack of a confirmed identity for the killer has allowed Ripperologists — the term used within the field for the authors, historians and amateur detectives who study the case — to accuse a wide variety of individuals of being the Ripper Newspapers, whose circulation had been growing during this era, bestowed widespread and enduring notoriety on the killer owing to the savagery of the attacks and the failure of the police in their attempts to capture the Ripper, sometimes missing the murderer at his crime scenes by mere minutes. This has led some people to assume the Ripper may have used the tunnels that run all under Whitechapel for his escapes. This would explain how he was able to seem to simply vanish. Other people have speculated that it may have been a policeman who was the killer. But you would have thought a policeman would have been spotted with bloody clothing and asked for an explanation.
The Ripper's Victims were women earning income as prostitutes. Most of the Ripper murders were in a public or semi-public place; the victim's throat was cut, after which the body was mutilated. Some believe that the victims were first strangled in order to silence them. The removal of internal organs from some victims has led to the proposal that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge or skill. Keep in mind as you read down this hub page that a mid wife would have had this knowledge.
Some People Now Believe Jack The Ripper Was Involved In Black Magic
There has been a lot of recent speculation that Jack the Ripper was taking body parts from his victims to be used in black majic rituals. If this is the case then other people may have been involved at least in the rituals.
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The cover of the September 21, 1889, issue of Puck magazine, featuring cartoonist Tom Merry's depiction of the unidentified Whitechapel murderer Jack the Ripper
Victims Of Jack The Ripper
The number and names of the Ripper's victims are the subject of much debate. The canonical five are a subset of the eleven victims listed in the police file documenting what were called "the Whitechapel murders".
The canonical five victims
The most widely accepted list, referred to as the canonical five, includes the following five prostitutes (or presumed prostitute in Eddowes' case) in the East End of London:
* Mary Ann Nichols (maiden name Mary Ann Walker, nicknamed "Polly"), born on August 26, 1845, and killed on Friday, August 31, 1888. Nichols' body was discovered at about 3:40 in the early morning on the ground in front of a gated stable entrance in Buck's Row (since renamed Durward Street), a back street in Whitechapel two hundred yards from the London Hospital.
* Annie Chapman (maiden name Eliza Ann Smith, nicknamed "Dark Annie"), born in September 1841 and killed on Saturday, September 8, 1888. Chapman's body was discovered about 6:00 in the morning lying on the ground near a doorway in the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields.
* Elizabeth Stride (maiden name Elisabeth Gustafsdotter, nicknamed "Long Liz"), born in Sweden on November 27, 1843, and killed on Sunday, September 30, 1888. Stride's body was discovered close to 01:00 in the early morning, lying on the ground in Dutfield's Yard, off Berner Street (since renamed Henriques Street) in Whitechapel.
* Catherine Eddowes (used the aliases "Kate Conway" and "Mary Ann Kelly," from the surnames of her two common-law husbands Thomas Conway and John Kelly), born on April 14, 1842, and killed on Sunday, September 30, 1888, on the same day as the previous victim, Elizabeth Stride. Ripperologists refer to this circumstance as the "double event". Her body was found in Mitre Square, in the City of London.
* Mary Jane Kelly (called herself "Marie Jeanette Kelly" after a trip to Paris, nicknamed "Ginger"), reportedly born in either the city of Limerick or County Limerick, Munster, Ireland ca. 1863 and killed on Friday, November 9, 1888. Kelly's gruesomely mutilated body was discovered shortly after 10:45 am lying on the bed in the single room where she lived at 13 Miller's Court, off Dorset Street, Spitalfields.
The authority of this list rests on a number of authors' opinions, but the initial basis for these opinions mainly came from notes made privately in 1894 by Sir Melville Macnaghten as Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police Service Criminal Investigation Department, papers which came to light in 1959. Macnaghten's papers reflected his own opinion and were not necessarily shared by the investigating officers (such as Inspector Frederick Abberline). Macnaghten did not join the force until the year after the murders, and his memorandum contained serious errors of fact about possible suspects. For this and other reasons, some Ripperologists prefer to remove one or more names from this list of canonical victims: typically Stride (who had no mutilations beyond a cut throat and, if one witness can be believed, was attacked in public), and/or Kelly (who was younger than other victims, murdered indoors, and whose mutilations were far more extensive than the others). Others prefer to expand the list by citing Martha Tabram and others as probable Ripper victims. Some researchers have even posited that the series may not have been the work of a single murderer, but of an unknown number of killers acting independently.
Except for Stride (whose attack may have been interrupted), mutilations became continuously more severe as the series of murders proceeded. Nichols and Stride were not missing any organs, but Chapman's uterus was taken, and Eddowes had her uterus and a kidney carried away and was left with facial mutilations. While only Kelly's heart was missing from the crime scene, many of her internal organs were removed and left in her room.
The five canonical murders were generally perpetrated in the dark of night, on or close to a weekend, in a secluded site to which the public could gain access, and on a pattern of dates either at the end of a month or a week or so after. Yet every case differed from this pattern in some manner. Besides the differences already mentioned, Eddowes was the only victim killed within the City of London, though close to the boundary between the City and the metropolis. Nichols was the only victim to be found on an open street, albeit a dark and deserted one. Many sources state that Chapman was killed after the sun had started to rise, though that was not the opinion of the police or the doctors who examined the body. Kelly's murder ended a six-week period of inactivity for the murderer. (A week elapsed between the Nichols and Chapman murders, and three between Chapman and the "double event.")
A major difficulty in identifying who was and was not a Ripper victim is the large number of horrific attacks against women during this era. Most experts point to deep throat slashes, mutilations to the victim's abdomen and genital area, removal of internal organs and progressive facial mutilations as the distinctive features of Jack the Ripper.
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Other possible victims of Jack the Ripper
Goulston Street graffitiAfter the "double event" of the early morning of September 30, police searched the area near the crime scenes in an effort to locate a suspect, witnesses or evidence. At about 3:00 a.m., Constable Alfred Long discovered a bloodstained scrap of cloth in the stairwell of a tenement on Goulston Street. The cloth was later confirmed as part of Eddowes' apron. There was writing in white chalk on the wall above where the apron was found. Long reported that the graffiti read: "The Juwes are the men That Will not be Blamed for nothing." Other police officers recalled a slightly different message: "The Juwes are not The men That Will be Blamed for nothing." Police Superintendent Thomas Arnold visited the scene and saw the graffiti. He feared that with daybreak and the beginning of the day's business, the message would be widely seen and might worsen the general Anti-Semitic sentiments of the populace. Since the Nichols murder, rumours had been circulating in the East End that the killings were the work of a Jew dubbed "Leather Apron". Religious tensions were already high, and there had already been many near-riots. Arnold ordered the graffiti erased from the wall. He did not make any effort to photograph the graffiti beforehand. While the writing was found in Metropolitan Police territory, the apron was from a victim killed in the City of London, which has a separate police force. Some officers disagreed with Arnold's order, especially those representing the City of London Police, who thought the graffiti constituted part of a crime scene and should at least be photographed before being erased, but Arnold's order was upheld by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren. The message was wiped from the wall at about 5:30 a.m. Most contemporary police concluded that the writing of the graffiti was a semi-literate attack on the area's Jewish population. Author Martin Fido notes that the graffiti included double negatives, a common feature of Cockney speech. He suggests that the graffiti might be translated into standard English as "The Jews are men who will not take responsibility for anything" and that the message was written by someone who believed he or she had been wronged by one of the many Jewish merchants or tradesmen in the area. There is disagreement as to the importance of the graffiti in the Ripper case. Several possible explanations have been suggested by various authors: * Author and conspiracy theorist Stephen Knight suggested that "Juwes" referred not to "Jews," but to Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum, the three killers of Hiram Abiff, a semi-legendary figure in Freemasonry, and furthermore, that the message was written by the killer (or killers) as part of a Masonic plot (however, there is no evidence that anyone prior to Knight had ever referred to those three figures by the term "Juwes") * The murderer wrote the graffiti and then dropped the piece of apron to indicate a link * The writing on the wall was already there and the murderer wanted to indicate a link in support of the message * The message was already there and the murderer dropped the scrap coincidentally, without interest in making a link (perhaps failing to notice the graffiti) * The writing was added sometime after the apron piece was dropped — presumably shortly after the murder (thought to have happened just before 1:45am) — but before the discovery of the scrap at 3am
The Ripper Letters
George Lusk, President of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee.
Jack The Ripper Investagation
It is important to appreciate that investigative techniques and awareness have progressed greatly since 1888. Many valuable forensic science techniques taken for granted today were unknown to the Victorian-era Metropolitan Police. The value of interpreting motives of serial killers, the concept of criminal profiling, fingerprinting, and other such knowledge and intelligence that have developed were poorly understood if not altogether unknown. Police recognised a sexual motive or element to the attacks, but were otherwise thoroughly unfamiliar with such crimes.
The investigation into the Whitechapel murders was initially conducted by Whitechapel (H) Division C.I.D. headed by Detective Inspector Edmund Reid. After the Nichols murder Detective Inspectors Frederick Abberline, Henry Moore and Walter Andrews were sent from Central Office at Scotland Yard to assist. After the Eddowes murder, which occurred within the City of London, the City Police under Detective Inspector James McWilliam were also engaged.
On 20 November 2006, the British television channel Five released an E-FIT-generated photo illustration showing what the researchers affiliated with the documentary believe the serial killer may have looked like. A former Metropolitan Police commander, John Grieve, was quoted as saying: "This is further than anyone else has got. It would have been enough for coppers to get out and start knocking on doors... they would have got him". Experts on the case, including author Stewart P. Evans, reacted with scepticism, noting that facial composites are usually only put together through direct questioning of a live witness and that various Victorian police officials investigating the Ripper killings stated that either no one had gotten a good look at the killer, or perhaps only one or two, but certainly not the alleged "13 witnesses" Grieve and others affiliated with the documentary claimed to have based the image on.
The Whitechapel Vigilance Committee was a group of people that patrolled the streets of London during the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888. The committee patrolled London mainly at night in search for this murderer. The committee was led by George Lusk in 1888 and later by
Montague John Druitt (August 15, 1857–December 1, 1888). Druitt was born in the town of Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England, the son of a prominent local physician. Having received his B.A. from the University of Oxford in 1880, he was admitted to the bar in 1885. From this time he practised as a barrister and a special pleader until his death. He was also employed as an assistant schoolmaster at George Valentine's boarding school, 9 Eliot Place, Blackheath from 1881 until he was dismissed shortly before his death in 1888. He was an avid sportsman and was an amateur cricket player. His body was found floating in the River Thames at Chiswick on December 31, 1888. Medical examination suggested that his body was kept at the bottom of the river for several weeks by stones placed in his pockets. The coroner's jury concluded that he committed suicide by drowning "whilst of unsound mind." His mother suffered from depression and died in an asylum in 1890. His disappearance and death shortly after the fifth and last canonical murder (which took place on 9 November 1888) and alleged "private information" led some of the investigators of the time to suggest he was the Ripper, thus explaining the end to the series of murders. More recently some have expressed doubts if he committed suicide or was himself murdered. Recent research shows that between the Kelly murder and his death he had been involved as legal representation in a court case and, according to the judge, argued his side well. Some people suggest that this counters the notion that Druitt had broken down mentally after the Kelly murder. In Sir Melville Macnaghten's famous memorandum, from which modern suspicion about Druitt originated, the barrister is incorrectly described as a doctor and his age is incorrectly given as 41 (he was 31 at the time of his death). Furthermore, Inspector Frederick Abberline doubted Druitt as a serious suspect.
George ChapmanSeverin Antoniovich Klosowski (alias George Chapman -- no relation to victim Annie Chapman). He was born Severin Klosowski in Poland, but came to Britain in the late 1880s and assumed the name of Chapman. He was undoubtedly guilty of poisoning three women, for which he was hanged in 1903. He was a violent man who lived in London at the time and probably did have some medical knowledge. He was at one time the favored suspect of Inspector Frederick Abberline. He is considered by a number of commentators to be a likely suspect. He is alleged to fit some descriptions of men seen walking with the victims, and to have had the medical skills needed to commit the mutilations; however, the main argument against him is the fact that he murdered his three wives with poison, and it is uncommon for a murderer to make such a drastic change in modus operandi.
Aaron KosminskiAaron Kosminski (1865– 1919). A member of London's Polish-Jewish population, Aaron Kosminski was born in Klodawa Russia/Poland in 1865. He was transferred to a mental hospital in February 1891. He was named as a suspect in Chief Constable Melville Macnaghten's memoranda, which stated that there were strong reasons for suspecting him, that he "had a great hatred of women, with strong homicidal tendencies", and that he strongly resembled "the man seen by a City PC" near Mitre Square. (This is the only mention of any such sighting, and it has been suggested by some authors that Macnaghten really meant the City Police witness Joseph Lawende, though others suggest alternative explanations.). Written comments by former Assistant Commissioner Sir Robert Anderson and former Chief Inspector Donald Swanson claimed that the Ripper had been identified by the "only person who had a good view of the murderer", though many authors express skepticism that this alleged identification ever happened, for a variety of reasons. Anderson and Swanson further stated that no prosecution was possible because the witness was not willing to offer testimony against a fellow Jew. In marginalia in his copy of the memoirs, Swanson said that this man was "Kosminski", adding that he had been watched at his brother's home in Whitechapel by the City police, that he was taken to the asylum with his hands tied behind his back, and that he died shortly after. These last two details are quite untrue of Aaron Kosminski, who lived until 1919. His insanity took the form of auditory hallucinations, a paranoid fear of being fed by other people, and a refusal to wash or bathe. Kosminski also meets many of the criteria in the general profile of serial killers as outlined by John Douglas and Robert Ressler, including compulsive masturbation, unsteady employment, and absence of a biological father (his father died when Kosminski was 8 years old). He also lived close to the sites of the murders. He was described as harmless in the asylum, although he had once brandished a chair at asylum attendants. He was previously reputed to have threatened his sister with a knife. These two incidents are the only known indications of violent behavior. The copy of Anderson's The Lighter Side Of My Official Life containing the handwritten notes by Swanson was donated to Scotland Yard's Crime Museum in 2006.
Michael OstrogMichael Ostrog (1833– 1904?), professional con man. Used numerous aliases and disguises. He was mentioned as a suspect by Macnaghten, who joined the case in 1889, the year after the "canonical five" victims were killed. Researchers have failed to find evidence that he committed crimes any more serious than fraud and theft. Research by author Philip Sugden discovered prison records showing that Ostrog was jailed for petty offenses in France during the Ripper murders. Ostrog is last mentioned alive in 1904, though his date of death is uncertain.
John PizerJohn Pizer (1850-1897). Pizer was a Polish Jew who worked as a bootmaker in Whitechapel. After the first two Ripper murders, Police Sergeant William Thick brought Pizer in for questioning. Thick apparently believed that Pizer was a man known as "Leather Apron", a local man who was notorious for committing minor assaults on prostitutes. In the early days of the Whitechapel murders many locals suspected that "Leather Apron" was the killer. He was cleared of any suspicion when it turned out that at the time of one of the murders he had been talking with a police officer as they watched a spectacular fire on the London docks. Pizer claimed that Thick had known him for years, and implied that his arrest was based on animus and not evidence.
Francis Tumblety"Dr." Francis Tumblety (c. 1833–1903). Seemingly uneducated or self-educated American, he earned a small fortune posing as an expert doctor throughout the USA and Canada and occasionally traveling across Europe as well. Perceived as a misogynist, he was connected to the deaths of some of his patients, though it is uncertain if this was deliberate or not. Francis was in England in 1888. He was arrested on November 7, 1888, "on charges of gross indecency", apparently for engaging in homosexual practices. He was released on bail on November 16, 1888. Awaiting trial, he instead fled the country for France on November 24, 1888. It has been suggested that he could have been released in time for the murder of Mary Jane Kelly (on November 9), though there is no evidence of it having happened. Notorious in the United States for his scams, news of his arrest led some to suggest he was the Ripper. Whether he was a killer or an eccentric regarded with unjust suspicion is a matter of debate. Tumblety was mentioned as having been a Ripper suspect by a member of the Metropolitan Police in a letter to a journalist many years after the murders, but this official was not known to have been directly connected to the Ripper investigation. Claims that Scotland Yard sent an officer to the United States in 1888 to try to bring Tumblety back in connection with the crimes have been disputed by recent research. One common objection to Tumblety's viability as a suspect lies with his alleged homosexuality, since in general male homosexual serial killers kill other men and not women.
Other contemporary suspects
Various other people were named at the time as potentially being guilty of the Whitechapel murders by journalists and others. Some of the most notable are:
William Henry BuryWilliam Henry Bury (May 25, 1859–April 24, 1889). Having recently relocated to Scotland from London, he strangled his wife Ellen Elliot, a former prostitute, on February 10, 1889, inflicted deep wounds to her abdomen after she was dead and "packed" her into a wooden box (which he subsequently used as a table to play dominoes on). She remained in the suitcase and Bury went about his normal life for almost a week before reporting the murder to the local police. Some people believe the wounds were similar to ones inflicted upon Martha Tabram and Mary Ann Nichols, in fact Bury claimed the reason he inflicted these wounds and packed her in the wooden box was because he was frightened that people would think he was Jack the Ripper. Bury was hanged soon afterwards in Dundee, Scotland, having by then made a full confession to his wife's murder. His was to be the last hanging in the city.
Thomas Neill CreamDr Thomas Neill Cream (May 1850–November 15, 1892), doctor secretly specialising in abortions. Born in Scotland, educated in London, active in Canada and later in Chicago, Illinois, USA. In 1881 he was found to be responsible for fatally poisoning several of his patients of both sexes. Originally there was no suspicion of murder in these cases, but Cream himself demanded an examination of the bodies. This was apparently an attempt to draw attention to himself. Imprisoned in the Illinois State Penitentiary, located in Joliet, Illinois, he was released on July 31, 1891, on good behavior. Relocating to London, he resumed his murderous activities and was arrested. He was hanged on November 15, 1892. According to some sources, his last words were reported as being "I am Jack...", interpreted to mean Jack the Ripper, but the words were muffled by a hood. Experts note that this whole incident may be nothing more than a story invented at a later date, as police officials who attended the execution made no mention of this alleged interrupted confession. He was still imprisoned at the time of the Ripper murders, but some authors have suggested that he could have bribed officials and left the prison before his official release or that he left a look-alike to serve the prison term in his place. Neither notion is seen as very likely by most authorities.
Frederick Bailey DeemingFrederick Bailey Deeming (July 30?, 1842–May 23, 1892), sailor living at the time in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and four children. A British citizen, Deeming was brought to court in England on December 15, 1887, on charges of bankruptcy. Sentenced to fourteen days of imprisonment, he was apparently released on December 29, 1887, and promptly fled with his family to Cape Town, South Africa to escape his debt collectors. Soon upon arrival he was brought to the attention of the local police on charges of fraud. He sent his family to England and headed to recently founded Johannesburg, disappearing for a time from historical record. There is no reliable account of his activities or his whereabouts between March 1888 and October 1889 (covering the period of the murders). He resurfaced in Kingston upon Hull, England, where he was known by the name of Harry Lawson, one of his many aliases. Well into a career as a professional con man, he apparently attempted to reconcile with his estranged wife. They moved together with their children to a rented house in Rainhill in July 1891. The reconciliation ended on August 11, 1891, when he cut his wife and children's throats as they slept. Having introduced himself to the locals as a bachelor and his family as his visiting sister and nephews, it proved easy to explain their absence. He wooed Emily Mathers, his landlord's daughter, and they married on September 22, 1891. The newlyweds left by ship from Southampton, England, on November 2, 1891, and arrived in Victoria (Australia) on December 15, 1891. He murdered Emily on December 24, 1891, buried her under their rented house, and left. Her body was soon found, resulting in a local investigation and the discovery of the other bodies in England. This led to his arrest on March 11, 1892, and his trial and subsequent execution by hanging. The public of Australia was convinced he was the Ripper. He is said to have been an acquaintance of victim Catherine Eddowes and to have maintained correspondence with her, but this allegation remains unproven.
Robert Donston StephensonRobert Donston Stephenson (aka Roslyn D'Onston) (April 20, 1841–October 9, 1916). A journalist / writer known to be interested in the occult and black magic. He arrived as a patient at the Whitechapel Hospital shortly before the murders started, and left shortly after they ceased. He is the author of a newspaper article and letter to the police concerning the case. His strange manner and interest in the crimes resulted in an amateur detective reporting him to Scotland Yard. Two days later he visited them himself to report his own suspect, a Dr Morgan Davies. Subsequently he fell under the suspicion of newspaper editor William Thomas Stead, the writer Mabel Collins and her friend Baroness Vittoria Cremers.
Further theories about the Ripper
Mary Pearcey Was She Jill The Ripper
Was Jack The Ripper really Jill The Ripper
Murder of Phoebe Hogg
13 Miller's Court, off Dorset Street , Our Ghost Story
13 Miller's Court, off Dorset Street
Our Family's Ghost Story Involving One Of The Ripper Victims
At one time I and my family lived in the same building in White Chapel where Mary Jane Kelly was killed and discovered on the morning of November 10, 1888. Our downstairs area in the apartment was actually her old room. The building had been changed and we had a full apartment upstairs and used the downstairs for a office and storage. The stairs coming down from the apartment above were very narrow barely wide enough for a large man to walk down and the downstairs area that included the former room of Kelly was always dark. We added new lighting but their was always something you could feel down there and it for lack of a better word was just plain spooky.
The really interesting thing was we have three cats and our cats simply would not have anything to do with the downstairs area. They simply would not come down the stairs and would even fight you if you tried to carry them down the stairs. We lived there for over three years and the cats just simply avoided the downstairs like their was a giant dog down there.
At one time we had a bed downstairs for when we had company come to visit and there was just to much going on to leave it there. I my Mom and others were setting on the bed at different times when it would feel like a small child would jump onto the bed with you. My Mom and a friend of hers were laying in bed talking one night when it walked up between them and bounced down like a small child playing. If you were able to get to sleep you would wake in the morning or in the middle of the night and all your covers would be gone. Carried off into the other room down there.You would never see anyone but your blankets would be taken away in the night. What ever or who ever it was did not want you sleeping down there.
One day on a rainy dreary morning I started down the stairs from upstairs and a lady dressed like the late 1800's came up the stairs and walked right thru me. My Mom saw her walk out thru the wall downstairs one day. My niece who was 14 at the time told of using the bathroom downstairs one day and the lady walked in one wall of the bathroom where she was setting and out the other side of the wall. Passing directly in front of her. My niece came up the stairs like Jack The Ripper himself was after her and she refused to ever go back downstairs again.