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Jack The Ripper In America. Did Jack The Ripper Visit The United States?

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Author Topic: Jack The Ripper In America. Did Jack The Ripper Visit The United States?  (Read 1736 times)
Keira Kensington
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Posts: 4700

« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2015, 04:04:28 pm »

Jack the Ripper 'may have killed abroad'
Murderer possibly a sailor rather than a surgeon, says new book

Mark Honigsbaum

Monday 2 May 2005 19.02 EDT Last modified on Monday 8 September 2014 06.02 EDT

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For all the blood spilt by Jack the Ripper, and all the ink expended since by authors claiming to know his identity, ripperologists generally agree that with the killing of the prostitute Mary Kelly in Whitechapel on November 8 1888, his frenzied murder spree came to an abrupt end.

After that "Jack" - if that was indeed his name - disappeared into the London fog, never to be seen again.

But what if the murders continued in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua? And what if, after a break of eight months, there was a further Whitechapel killing which, as in the Kelly case, ended with a prostitute's throat being cut and her body mutilated, followed, three months later, by a further killing in Germany?

That is the intriguing theory raised in a new book on the Whitechapel murders by Trevor Marriott, a former Bedfordshire police detective. Using modern police procedural techniques, Marriott has spent two years poring over the Ripper killings, re-examining the evidence given by police doctors and pathologists at the time.

His conclusions, published this week in Jack the Ripper: the 21st Century Investigation, challenge the conventional wisdom that the murderer was a skilled surgeon. Moreover, Marriott says the location and timing of the killings - not far from London docks with gaps of several weeks in between - suggest the killer may have been a merchant seaman.

Marriott thinks he may have identified the ship he arrived on - the Sylph, a 600-tonne cargo vessel which arrived in Britain from Barbados in July 1888, before the killing of the Ripper's first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, and which returned to the Caribbean on November 22, two weeks after the Kelly slaying, from where the same killer could have committed the Nicaraguan murder spree.

"The detectives at the time took a very blinkered approach,' says Marriott. "They were convinced the killer was someone who lived or worked in the Whitechapel area. They completely overlooked the fact that there was a pattern emerging which pointed to the possibility the killer may have been a sailor who only occasionally visited Whitechapel, hence the gaps between the murders."

Marriott is not the first person to claim to have uncovered sensational evidence about Whitechapel's most notorious unsolved murders. Hardly a month goes by without some revelation - the latest being the Swansea author Tony Williams's claim that the Ripper was his great-great uncle, Sir John Williams, Queen Victoria's obstetrician and a celebrated book collector who founded the National Library of Wales.
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Other recent suspects include James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton broker who supposedly confessed to the killings in diaries which surfaced in the early 90s, and Francis Tumblety, an American doctor who before coming to England kept a collection of female body parts at his home in New York. Then there was American crime novelist Patricia Cornwell's claim two years ago that she had discovered DNA evidence tying the Victorian artist Walter Sickert to the Ripper letters. Like all similar claims to have "solved" the murders, Cornwell's thesis subsequently wilted under scrutiny.

In his book, Marriott makes no such claims. Instead, he revisits the crime scenes and the testimony of contemporary witnesses. One of this most startling conclusions is that the Ripper need not have been a skilled surgeon - a long-held assumption based on the fact that in the case of the Ripper's second victim, Annie Chapman, both her **** and part of her bladder were removed, and that in the case of Kelly her kidney was missing.

But Marriott points out that those were the only two cases in which vital organs were expertly cut out and that they could have been removed at the mortuary before the police surgeon arrived to perform the postmortem, possibly by traders in body parts. He also says there has never been an adequate explanation for why the killings suddenly stopped. Most experts assume the murderer was jailed for other crimes or died. But if Marriott's theory is right, and Jack the Ripper was a crewman on the Sylph, then he may have been responsible for killings in Managua in January 1889 described in a report in the Times as "six of the most atrocious murders ever committed within the limits of this city".

According to the Times report, two of the victims were "butchered out of all recognition" with their faces "horribly slashed". Both the mutilation of prostitutes' bodies and face slashing were a hallmark of the Whitechapel murders and a feature which led detectives to believe the Ripper was a serial sex attacker. Marriott also argues that the Ripper may have been responsible for a later murder of a Whitechapel prostitute not included in the usual five canonical Ripper slayings.
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Alice McKenzie was found mutilated in Castle Alley, north of Whitechapel Road, on July 17 1889. Like the other Ripper victims there were signs that she had been throttled before having her throat slit and her body mutilated. One of the police pathologists who conducted the postmortem on McKenzie concluded she should be counted as the sixth Ripper victim - a verdict with which the divisional surgeon disagreed at the time.

If Marriott is right and the Ripper was a merchant seaman it might also explain that the Washington Star, bearing the dateline, Hamburg, 18 October 1889, reported the discovery of "the mutilated body" of a woman in Flensburg, a seaport with frequent sailings to London.
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