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the Unexplained => Vanishings & Unsolved Murders => Topic started by: Rorschach on August 16, 2007, 03:22:33 am

Title: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 16, 2007, 03:22:33 am

Cartoon, with poem, "Punch, or The London Charivai" published September 29, 1888.

Caption & poem lyrics:

"There floats a phantom on the slum's foul air,
Shaping, to eyes which have the gift of seeing,
Into the Spectre of that loathly lair.
Face it--for vain is fleeing!
Red-handed, ruthless, furtive, unerect,
'Tis murderous Crime--the Nemesis of Neglect! "

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 16, 2007, 03:23:52 am
Jack the Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer (or killers) active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England in the latter half of 1888. The name is taken from a letter to the Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer, published at the time of the killings. 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.

Victims were women earning income as casual prostitutes. Typical Ripper murders were perpetrated 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 and to explain the lack of reported blood at the crime scenes. The removal of internal organs from some victims has led to the proposal that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge or skill.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 16, 2007, 03:25:09 am

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.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:48:02 am
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 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 of the canonical five victims 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 her face mutilated. While only Kelly's heart was missing from her 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.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:49:14 am
Other possible victims

Victims of other contemporary and somewhat similar attacks and/or murders have also been suggested as additions to the list. Those victims are generally poorly documented. They include:
•   "Fairy Fay", a nickname for an unknown murder victim reportedly found on December 26, 1887 with "a stake thrust through her abdomen." It has been suggested that "Fairy Fay" was a creation of the press based upon confusion of the details of the murder of Emma Elizabeth Smith with a separate non-fatal attack the previous Christmas. The name of "Fairy Fay" does not appear for this alleged victim until many years after the murders, and it seems to have been taken from a verse of a popular song called "Polly Wolly Doodle" that starts "Fare thee well my fairy fay". There were no recorded murders in Whitechapel at or around Christmas 1886 or 1887, and later newspaper reports that included a Christmas 1887 killing conspicuously did not list the Smith murder. Most authors agree that "Fairy Fay" never existed.
•   Annie Millwood, born c 1850, reportedly the victim of an attack on February 25, 1888. She was admitted to hospital with "numerous stabs in the legs and lower part of the body". She was discharged from hospital but died from apparently natural causes on March 31, 1888.
•   Ada Wilson, reportedly the victim of an attack on March 28, 1888, resulting in two stabs in the neck. She survived the attack.
•   Emma Elizabeth Smith, born c 1843, was attacked in Osborn Street, Whitechapel April 3, 1888, and a blunt object was inserted into her ****, rupturing her perineum. She survived the attack and managed to walk back to her lodging house with the injuries. Friends brought her to a hospital where she told police that she was attacked by two or three men, one of whom was a teenager. She fell into a coma and died on April 5, 1888. This was the first killing in the "Whitechapel murders" file in contemporary police files.
•   Martha Tabram (name sometimes misspelled as Tabran; used the alias Emma Turner; maiden name Martha White), born on May 10, 1849, and killed on August 7, 1888. She had a total of 39 stab wounds. Of the non-canonical Whitechapel murders, Tabram is named most often as another possible Ripper victim, owing to the evident lack of obvious motive, the geographical and periodic proximity to the canonical attacks, and the remarkable savagery of the attack. The main difficulty with including Tabram is that the killer used a somewhat different modus operandi (stabbing, rather than slashing the throat and then cutting), but it is now accepted that a killer's modus operandi often changes, sometimes quite dramatically. Her body was found at George Yard Buildings, George Yard, Whitechapel. This was the second victim listed in the Whitechapel murders police file. (The third through seventh being the canonical five listed above.)
•   "The Whitehall Mystery", term coined for the headless torso of a woman found in the basement of the new Metropolitan Police headquarters being built in Whitehall on October 2, 1888. An arm belonging to the body had previously been discovered floating in the Thames near Pimlico, and one of the legs was subsequently discovered buried near where the torso was found. The other limbs and head were never recovered and the body never identified.
•   Annie Farmer, born in 1848, reportedly was the victim of an attack on November 21, 1888. She survived with only a light, though bleeding, cut on her throat. The wound was superficial and apparently caused by a blunt knife. Police suspected that the wound was self-inflicted and ceased to investigate her case.
•   Rose Mylett (true name probably Catherine Mylett, but was also known as Catherine Millett, Elizabeth "Drunken Lizzie" Davis, "Fair" Alice Downey or simply "Fair Clara"), born in 1862 and died on December 20, 1888. She was reportedly strangled "by a cord drawn tightly round the neck", though some investigators believed that she had accidentally suffocated herself on the collar of her dress while in a drunken stupor. Her body was found in Clarke's Yard, High Street, Poplar. This was the eighth case listed in the Whitechapel murders file.
•   Elizabeth Jackson, a prostitute whose various body parts were collected from the River Thames between May 31 and June 25 1889. She was reportedly identified by scars she had had prior to her disappearance and apparent murder.
•   Alice McKenzie (nicknamed "Clay Pipe" Alice and used the alias Alice Bryant), born circa 1849 and killed on July 17, 1889. She died reportedly from the "severance of the left carotid artery" but several minor bruises and cuts were found on the body. Her body was found in Castle Alley, Whitechapel. This was the ninth crime listed in Whitechapel murders file.
•   "The Pinchin Street Murder", a term coined after a torso was found in similar condition to "The Whitehall Mystery", though the hands were not severed, on September 10, 1889. The body was found under a railway arch in Pinchin Street, Whitechapel. An unconfirmed speculation of the time was that the body belonged to Lydia Hart, a prostitute who had disappeared. "The Whitehall Mystery" and "The Pinchin Street Murder" have often been suggested to be the works of a serial killer, for which the nicknames "Torso Killer" or "Torso Murderer" have been suggested. Whether Jack the Ripper and the "Torso Killer" were the same person or separate serial killers of uncertain connection to each other (but active in the same area) has long been debated by Ripperologists. This was the tenth of the Whitechapel murders.
•   Frances Coles (also known as Frances Coleman, Frances Hawkins and nicknamed "Carrotty Nell"), born in 1865 and killed on February 13, 1891. Minor wounds on the back of the head suggest that she was thrown violently to the ground before her throat was cut. Otherwise there were no mutilations to the body. Her body was found under a railway arch, Swallow Gardens, Whitechapel. This was the eleventh and last of the victims included in the Whitechapel murders police file, which was closed as unsolved.
•   Carrie Brown (nicknamed "Shakespeare", reportedly for quoting sonnets by William Shakespeare), born circa 1835 and killed April 24, 1891, in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. She was strangled with clothing and then mutilated with a knife. Her body was found with a large tear through her groin area and superficial cuts on her legs and back. No organs were removed from the scene, though an ovary was found upon the bed. Whether it was purposely removed or unintentionally dislodged during the mutilation is unknown. At the time, the murder was compared to those in Whitechapel though London police eventually ruled out any connection.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:50:22 am
Goulston Street graffiti

After 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 exacerbate 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 a man to be standing by with a sponge to erase the graffiti, while he consulted Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren. Covering the graffiti in order to allow time for a photographer to arrive was considered, but Arnold and Warren (who personally attended the scene) considered this to be too dangerous, and Warren later stated he "considered it desirable to obliterate the writing at once".
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 service.
Some officers disagreed with Arnold and Warren's decision, 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 the message was wiped from the wall at approximately 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

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:51:45 am
Ripper letters

Jack the Ripper letters
"Dear Boss" letter
"Saucy Jack" postcard
"From Hell" letter

Over the course of the Ripper murders, the police and newspapers received many thousands of letters regarding the case. Some were from well-intentioned persons offering advice for catching the killer. The vast majority of these were deemed useless and subsequently ignored.

Perhaps more interesting were hundreds of letters which claimed to have been written by the killer himself. The vast majority of such letters are considered hoaxes. Many experts contend that none of them are genuine, but of the ones cited as perhaps genuine, either by contemporary or modern authorities, three in particular are prominent:

The "Dear Boss" letter, dated September 25, postmarked and received September 27, 1888, by the Central News Agency, was forwarded to Scotland Yard on September 29. Initially it was considered a hoax, but when Eddowes was found three days after the letter's postmark with one ear partially cut off, the letter's promise to "clip the ladys ears off" gained attention. Police published the letter on October 1, hoping someone would recognise the handwriting, but nothing came of this effort. The name "Jack the Ripper" was first used in this letter and gained worldwide notoriety after its publication. Most of the letters that followed copied the tone of this one. After the murders, police officials contended the letter had been a hoax by a local journalist.
The "Saucy Jack" postcard, postmarked and received October 1, 1888, by the Central News Agency, had handwriting similar to the "Dear Boss" letter. It mentions that two victims — Stride and Eddowes — were killed very close to one another: "double event this time." It has been argued that the letter was mailed before the murders were publicised, making it unlikely that a crank would have such knowledge of the crime, though it was postmarked more than 24 hours after the killings took place, long after details were known by journalists and residents of the area. Police officials later claimed to have identified a specific journalist as the author of both this message and the earlier "Dear Boss" letter.
The "From Hell" letter, also known as the "Lusk letter", postmarked October 15 and received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee on October 16, 1888. Lusk opened a small box to discover half a human kidney, later said by a doctor to have been preserved in "spirits of wine" (ethyl alcohol). One of Eddowes' kidneys had been removed by the killer, and a doctor determined the kidney sent to Lusk was "very similar to the one removed from Catherine Eddowes," though his findings were inconclusive. The writer claimed that he had "fried and ate" the missing kidney half. There is some disagreement over the kidney: some contend it had belonged to Eddowes, while others argue it was "a macabre practical joke, and no more".
Some sources list another letter, dated September 17, 1888, as the first message to use the Jack the Ripper name. Most experts believe this was a modern fake inserted into police records in the 20th century, long after the killings took place. They note that the letter has neither an official police stamp verifying the date it was received nor the initials of the investigator who would have examined it if it were ever considered as potential evidence. It is also not mentioned in any remaining police document of the time.

Ongoing DNA tests on the still existing letters have yet to yield conclusive results.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:53:06 am
Dear Boss letter


Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:54:36 am
The "Dear Boss" letter was a message dated September 25 allegedly written by the notorious Victorian serial killer known as Jack the Ripper. It was postmarked and received on September 27, 1888, by the Central News Agency of London. It was forwarded to Scotland Yard on September 29.

The message, like most alleged Ripper letters that followed, contains a number of spelling and punctuation errors. It reads:

Dear Boss,
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn't you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck.
Yours truly

Jack the Ripper

Dont mind me giving the trade name

PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I'm a doctor now. ha ha
Initially this letter was considered to be just one of many hoaxes, but when the body of Catherine Eddowes was found with one ear severed on September 30, the writer's promise to "clip the ladys ears off" gained attention. The Metropolitan Police published handbills with facsimiles of it and the Saucy Jack postcard (which had referred to the earlier message and was received before the first became public knowledge) hoping someone would recognise the handwriting, but nothing came of this effort. Many newspapers also reprinted the text in whole or in part.

These two messages gained worldwide notoriety after their publication. It was the first time the "Jack the Ripper" name had been used to refer to the killer, and the term captured the imagination of the public. Soon hundreds of other letters claiming to be from "Jack the Ripper" were received, most copying key phrases from these letters.

After the murders, police officials stated that they believed this letter and the postcard were hoaxes by a local journalist. These suspicions were not well publicized, and the idea that the killer had sent messages taunting the police became one of the enduring legends of the Ripper case. Modern scholars are divided on which, if any, of the letters should be considered genuine, but the "Dear Boss" letter is one of three named most frequently as potentially having been written by the killer. A number of authors try to advance their theories by comparing handwriting samples of their suspects to the writing found in this letter.

Like many items related to the Ripper case, the "Dear Boss" letter disappeared from the police files not long after the investigation ended. Most people believe it was kept as a souvenir by one of the investigating officers. It was returned anonymously to the Metropolitan Police in 1988, presumably by family members of the officer who had originally taken it.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:55:49 am
Saucy Jack postcard


Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:56:48 am
The "Saucy Jack" Postcard is the name of a message received in 1888, which claims to have been written by the serial killer now known as Jack the Ripper. Because so many hoax letters were received by Scotland Yard, the press and others, it is not known definitively if this was an authentic letter written by the Whitechapel killer. It did contain information that was compelling enough to lead investigators to publish a facsimile of the communication in hopes that someone might recognize the handwriting.

The text of the postcard reads:

“ I was not codding dear old Boss when I gave you the tip, you'll hear about Saucy Jacky's work tomorrow double event this time number one squealed a bit couldn't finish straight off. Had not got time to get ears off for police thanks for keeping last letter back till I got to work again. -Jack the Ripper ”

Postmarked and received on 1 October 1888, the postcard mentions that two victims were killed very close to one another: "double event this time". Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were both killed in the early morning of September 30, and part of Eddowes' ear was found detached at the crime scene as a result of horrific facial mutilations that the killer performed. Some authors have argued that the letter was mailed before the murders were publicised, making it unlikely that a hoaxer would have such knowledge of the crime; however, the letter was postmarked more than 24 hours after the killings took place, long after many details were known by journalists and residents of the area. Police officials later claimed to have identified a specific journalist as the author of this message and the earlier "Dear Boss" letter.

Sometime during the years after the Ripper murders, the Saucy Jack postcard disappeared from the police files. It is generally believed that, like many other items related to the case, someone removed it to keep as a souvenir of this famous series of crimes. Only a facsimile version remains in the files. Although the "Dear Boss" letter was recovered in 1988, the "Saucy Jack" postcard is still missing.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:57:53 am
From Hell letter


Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Rorschach on August 30, 2007, 03:59:37 am
The "From Hell" letter is the name given to a letter mailed in 1888 by a man who claimed to be the killer known as Jack the Ripper.

Though many letters claiming to be from the killer were mailed in the time of the Ripper murders, the "From Hell" letter is widely considered one of the few possibly authentic writings received from the serial killer. It is perhaps noteworthy that its author chose not to sign it with the pseudonym, "Jack the Ripper", distinguishing it from the earlier Dear Boss letter, the Saucy Jack postcard and their imitators. Also, the "From Hell" letter is written at a much lower literacy level than the other two, although it has been argued that this was done on purpose by the author. Attention is paid to the word 'knif' in particular. It is argued that a person with little or no education would spell words based on what they sound like and as the 'k' in knife is silent, an uneducated man would not likely know that the 'k' was there at all. To some Ripperologists,[citation needed] this is proof that the author of the letter was actually quite well educated and the spelling and grammatical errors were written on purpose.

Postmarked on 15 October 1888, the letter was received by George Lusk, then head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, the following day.

The reason this letter stands out more than any other is that it was delivered with a small box containing half of what doctors later determined was a human kidney, preserved in alcohol. One of Catherine Eddowes' kidneys had been removed by the killer. Medical opinion at the time was split on whether the kidney was likely to have been the same as the one taken from Eddowes. Some officials thought the organ could have been acquired by medical students and sent with the letter as part of a hoax.

The text of the letter reads:

“ From hell.

Mr Lusk,
I send you half the Kidne I took from one women prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer

Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk”

The original letter, as well as the kidney that accompanied it, have subsequently been lost along with other items that were originally contained within the Ripper police files. It is possible that one or both was kept by an official as a souvenir of the case. The image shown here is from a photograph taken before the loss of the letter.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:25:27 pm
The Five Known Victims of Jack the Ripper (Caution - Some pictures are graphic and gruesome)
By RRRood

Jack the Ripper is the infamous serial murderer who victimized women in the Whitechapel area of London in the 1880’s. Inhabitants of the Whitechapel area were destitute. Their living conditions were deplorable. Whole families lived in one filthy room. It was not uncommon to find the rotting remains of dead rats, a pig, or a human body lying next to a naked, malnourished child. It was poverty at it’s most cruel. Adults and children alike did whatever it took to eke out an existence; to earn the cost of a night’s lodging and a chunk of bread to share with whomever they spent the night.

 It was in this disgusting and hellish corner of London that Jack the Ripper gave these desperate women the one chance of escape they did not want.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:27:25 pm

Victim #1 Mary Ann Nichols Body Found August 31, 1888

Description at time of Murder: Age 45, Height 5’2”, Complexion Dark, Eyes Brown, Hair Brown turning grey.

Apparel at time of Murder: Brown dress with 7 large brass buttons, Grey woolen petticoats (reportedly recorded as being stenciled with “Lambeth Workhouse”), Flannel drawers and white chest flannel, Brown stays, Black ribbed woolen stockings, Men’s spring-sided boots and a Black straw bonnet trimmed with black velvet.

Mary Ann Nichols was the wife of William Nichols of 37 Coburg Street, Old Kent Road, though the couple had actually been separated for nine years due to Mrs. Nichols drunkenness and immoral habits. During their separation Mary was an inmate at several workhouses, the last of which was Lambeth Workhouse. She left Lambeth Workhouse in May of 1888 and entered the service of Mr. Cowdry. On July 12 of that same year she left there after helping herself to a number of items of wearing apparel. After that she spent nights in common lodging houses.

On the night of August 31, 1888, Mary Ann Nichols told the manager of the lodging house at 18 Thrawl Street to save her bed. It was 1:40 am and she had no money, so she set out to earn her night’s lodging. She was drunk at the time.

At 2:30 a.m. Ellen Holland who was staying at 18 Thrawl Street saw Mary Ann Nichols at the corner of Osborn Street and Whitechapel Road. She tried to get the drunken woman to return to the lodging house with her, but instead Mary Ann walk toward Buck’s Row where her dead body was later found.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:28:19 pm

At 3:15 a passerby named Charles Cross found the body of Mary Ann Nichols on the Buck’s Row walkway.  He left to inform the police.  In his absence Constable John Neil came upon the body.  It had not been there during his last walk by one- half hour earlier.  That fact coupled with there being very little blood at the scene lent the police to deduce the body was transported there after the murder.

Mary Ann Nichols was pronounced dead by Dr. Llewellyn who took her body to the mortuary.  Her throat had been cut as had been her abdomen.  Inquiries at the murder site offered no clues to the murder.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:29:03 pm

Victim # 2 Anne Chapman Body Found September 8, 1888

Description at time of Murder: Age 45, Complexion Fair, Eyes Blue, Hair Dark Brown Wavy, 2 Missing Lower Teeth, Large Thick Nose

Apparel at time of Murder: Black figured jacket, Brown bodice, Old dirty, laced boots

Anne Chapman had been residing at Timothy Donovan’s lodge house at 35 Dorset Street. On September 8, 1888 at 1:45 a.m. Anne was in the Donovan Kitchen. She was drunk and had no money. She soon left declaring she would be back and she would have money.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:29:55 pm

Back Yard No.29 Hanburg

At 6:10 a.m. Anne Chapman lay dead in the back yard at No. 29 Hanburg Street.  According to Inspector Joseph Chandler she was “lying on her back, dead, left arm resting on left breast, legs drawn up”.  Her throat was “cut deeply from left and back in a jagged manner right around the throat”.  Inspector Chandler’s report also indicated her abdomen had been cut with her entrails on the ground above her right shoulder.  The wall and fence near where the body was laid out was spattered with blood.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:31:43 pm
Dr. Phillips pronounced Anne Chapman dead and took her to the mortuary. His notes included a lot of information that never made it into police records.

The following are the clues that were overlooked or ignored:

Ø   A piece of muslin fabric, a comb and a paper case were left by the body

Ø   Two rings from Anne’s fingers, some pennies and two new farthings were left at the foot  of the body

Ø   An envelope and a piece of paper containing two pills were at the head of the body

         On the back of the envelope was the seal of the Sussex Military Regiment

         On the front of the envelope was a letter “M” and a postage stamp

Ø   A leather apron soaked with water was found near a faucet two feet away

         Some accounts have it as a partial apron

Though the apron was, for a while, considered a viable clue, all other items were discounted despite their being carefully arranged around Anne’s slain body.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:32:02 pm
Victim # 3 Elizabeth Stride Body Found September 30, 1888

At 1 a.m. behind a workmen’s club inside the gates of Dutfield’s yard in Bermer Street, Commercial Road East, Louis Diemshutz, Secretary to the Socialist Club, found the body of Elizabeth Stride. He rushed to report the incident. Constable Lamb returned to the scene with him, and then sent for Dr Blackwell and Dr Phillips who pronounced her dead at 1:10 a.m. The immediate area was searched, but no weapon was found.

The following outlines the doctors’ report on Elizabeth Stride:

Ø She was found lying on her left side with left arm extended from the elbow with small candies in her hand

Ø Her right arm was over her stomach – back of hand and inner wrist dotted with blood

Ø Her legs were drawn up, knees fixed, feet close to the wall

Ø Slightly torn silk handkerchief around her throat with throat being deeply gashed and showing a skin abrasion about 1 ¼ inches in diameter

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:32:26 pm

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:32:50 pm
The Evening News reported Elizabeth Stride also had grapes in her right hand claiming a man seen with Stride earlier had purchased grapes from a local vendor.  Even though police reports stated two private detectives found grape stems in the debris swept from the site of the murder, the clue was dismissed as unimportant.    (It is thought grapes were quite expensive during that time period and an unfortunate would not have access to them unless a wealthy person were to provide them)

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:33:22 pm
Victim #4 Catherine Eddows Body Found September 30, 1888

After being in the Billingsgate Street Police Station for drunkenness, Catherine Eddows was released at 1 a.m. on September 30, 1888. At 1:45 a.m. Constable Watkins found her mutilated body at Mitre Square. Her face was unrecognizable from acts perpetrated by the murderer.

The following describes her injuries:

Ø   A part of her nose was missing

Ø   Her right earlobe was barely attached

Ø   Her throat was cut

Ø   Her abdomen was laid open and one kidney had been removed

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:33:48 pm
Mortuary Photo


Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:34:04 pm
 It has long been assumed Catherine Eddowes’ body was placed at Mitre Square after the murder and mutilation was performed in an empty building nearby.  This conclusion was drawn from the report that at 2:55 a.m. a constable found a blood-stained apron next to a wall where the phrase “The JUWES are not the men That Will be Blamed for nothing” had been written in chalk.  Nothing of import was derived from the phrase, but the apron and the removal of the kidney  led Drs Brown and Phillips to suggest Jack the Ripper may have been “a hunter, a butcher, a student in surgery or a properly qualified surgeon”.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:34:44 pm
Victim #5 Mary Kelly Body Found November 9, 1888

 Mary Kelly met her end in her own room at the 16 Dorset Street boardinghouse, No. 13.  True to form, her throat had been sliced open, her body mutilated.  In a strange twist, some skin had been removed from her legs.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:35:02 pm

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:35:48 pm
Dorset Street in Whitechapel


Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:36:20 pm

Suspects were numerous. Some were considered suspects totally due to general speculation, others because of descriptions, locations or occupations.

A popular theory named Queen Victoria’s grandson who was known as Eddy. From there it was then suspected Eddy’s friend and tutor committed the murders hoping Eddy would be blamed. The next link to Eddy was Dr. William Gull. Some theorized Dr. Gull killed women so they could not be connected to immoral liaisons with Eddy. His wife, however, claimed Dr. Gull was given to sporadic “manias for inflicting pain” and she had no idea where he’d been on the nights of each murder.

Coincidentally, another suspect, Montague John Driutt, who was rumored to have law offices and had been know to rent rooms in the Whitechapel area, bore an astonishing resemblance to the grandson of Queen Victoria, the notorious Eddy. Druitt took his own life in 1888; after which no further Jack the Ripper killings were reported.

In spite of more than a century of research, investigation and being the subject of numerous books and films, Jack the Ripper and his five victims remain a most ugly part of the Whitechapel/London history as the most infamous cold case in Scotland Yard’s files.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:40:12 pm


    3rd of April 1888. A local gang attack Emma Smith, a local prostitute, on the junction of Osborn Street and Brick Lane. Although she definitely was not a victim of Jack the Ripper she is the first name on the Whitechapel Murders file that later included the murders by Jack the Ripper.
    4th April 1888 Emma Smith dies from the injuries she sustained in the attack. Read more about Emma Smith.
    7th June 1888. Detective Sergeant William Thicke testifies in court against local burglar George Neighbour. Later that year Thicke will play a major role in the hunt for Jack the Ripper. However, his testimony on this occasion is of interest because it illustrates the harsh realities of policing the district where the murders took place. Read more
    7 August 1888 another prostitute Martha Turner is found stabbed to death on a landing of George Yard Buildings.
    31 August 1888 the body of Mary Anne Nichols, who is commonly held to be Jack the Ripper's first victim, is found at 3.40am in Buck's Row Whitechapel
    1st-4th September. The police begin questioning the neighbourhood's prostitutes. They learn bout a character who the prostitutes have nicknamed Leather Apron who has been extorting money from them for the past 12 months.
    5th September. The Star newspaper publishes a write-up on Leather Apron, which causes the first murmurs of anti-Semitism in the district.
    8 September 1888. The second Jack the Ripper victim, Annie Chapman, was found in the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street.
    10 September 1888. Mr George Lusk, together with several other local business men, founds the Mile End Vigilance Committee, hoping to assist the police with their endeavours to catch the murderer.
    10 September 1888. John Pizer, whom Sergeant Thick maintains is recognized as "Leather Apron," is arrested. He can provide alibis for the two recent murders and is released.
    27 September 1888. A missive addressed to ‘Dear Boss” arrives at the Central News Agency. It is signed JACK THE RIPPER, a name which will turn the unknown miscreant into a world famous legend.
    30 September 1888. The killer commits two murders in under 1 hour. At 1am the body of Elizabeth Stride’s is found in Berner Street, off Commercial Road; then at 1:45am the body of Catherine Eddowes is discovered in Mitre Square in the City of London. This means that another Police force, the City Police, now join into the search for Jack the Ripper.
    1st October 1888. The police make the Jack the Ripper letter public.
    6th October 1888. The Central News Agency receive another letter that is signed Jack the Ripper. The police ask them not make this missive public.
    16 October 1888 . Mr George Lusk receives a letter that is addressed "FROM HELL." It contains half a kidney. There is press speculation that it belonged to Catherine Eddowes.
    9th November 1888. 25 year Old Mary Kelly is found dead in Dorset Street Spitalfields. She is believed by many to have been Jack the Ripper's last victim.
    20th December 1888. 29 year old Rose Mylett (also known as Catherine Millett and Lizzie Davis), 29, was found strangled in Clarke's Yard, off Poplar High Street. Despite the fact that several doctors who examined her body gave it as their opinion that she had been strangled, Robert Anderson was convinced that she had accidentally hanged herself on the collar of her dress whilst drunk. Dr Thomas Bond was, therefore, asked to examine her body and he agreed with Anderson. However, the jury at her subsequent inquest disagreed and returned a verdict of "wilful murder against some person or persons unknown". Her death was, therefore, added to the Whitechapel Murders file
    17th 1889. The body of Alice McKenzie is found in Castle Alley, off Whitechapel High Street. Despite the fact that her injuries were less savage than those inflicted on previous victims, several detectives believed her to have been a victim of Jack the Ripper.
    10th September 1888. The mutilated torso of an unknown woman was found beneath a railway arch in Pinchin Street. Although the press at the time noted that the torso bore similar mutilations to those inflicted on his victims by Jack the Ripper, the consensus amongst experts is that this was probably not a ripper killing.
    13th February 1891. The body of Frances Coles is found beneath a railway arch in Swallow Gardens. St the time there was much speculation that her killing spelt a return for the ripper. A sailor named James Thomas Sadler was arrested, charged and later acquitted of her murder. Today she is not believed to have been a Jack the Ripper victim.

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:41:32 pm

A Map Showing the locations of the Murder Sites

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:42:05 pm

Title: Re: Jack the Ripper
Post by: Keira Kensington on April 05, 2015, 04:42:12 pm