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Jack the Ripper


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Author Topic: Jack the Ripper  (Read 687 times)
Rorschach
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« 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.
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