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"Jack The Ripper"
Personal Information || Victims || Modus Operandi || Motives || Quotes || Comments || Links
Jack the Ripper
"Lack of forensics made apprehension of the ripper difficult..."

In the 1880's, the East End of London became the staging place for a series of sickening murders that caused outrage through the entire nation. Although the killer's identity has been wildly speculated upon, to this day the murderer is known only as Jack the Ripper...

Personal Information
Name "Jack The Ripper"
Aliases "The Whitechapel Murderer"
"The Autumn of Terror"
Location East End of London, UK
Born Unknown
Died Unknown
Status Deceased

Mary Ann Nicholls (43) Died 31st August 1888

First acknowledged 'Ripper' victim. Savagely attacked across the throat, exposing vertebrae; Repeatedly stabbed at the stomach; Little publicity.

Annie Chapman (47) Died 8th September 1888

Bodily organs removed from victims abdomen. The media 'awakens' to the series of atrocities being committed in the East End.

Elizabeth Stride (45) Died 30th September 1888

The attacker is interrupted in his mutilation of the Swedish prostitute, and fails in the attempt to remove her ear.

Catharine Eddowes (46) Died 30th September 1888

To recompense the failed expedition earlier on, the 'Ripper' resumes his gruesome work on Eddowes. Later examination reveals a kidney is missing. This soon reappears...

Mary Jeanette Kelly (25) Died 9th November 1888

Just as the panic created by the 'Ripper' begins to die, the killer performs the most brutal of all his murders, taking several hours to finish the dismemberment. The victim is later discovered to be pregnant.

Modus Operandi

The 'Ripper' would confine his attacks on impoverished women, forced to rely on prostitution as a means of income. As such, it was easy to procure victims who were always in dire need of funds.

All the attacks occurred during the many dark evenings of 19th century London, and with the exception of his final known attack Mary Kelly, all occurred in the proximity of London's East End streets, performing his activities in the many darkened alleys and alcoves.

The 'Ripper`s' choice of weapon was a straight razor blade, strong enough to use as a stabbing/slashing implement, but flexible enough to use in the many dismemberment activities employed. This can also imply the use of some form of medicinal scalpel, which is examined further in the MOTIVES section.


In an attempt to assign a motive to these terrible murders, one can only be given by listing some of the suspects that have been implicated into the 'Ripper' legend over the years. These theories range from the plausible to the outlandish. Nevertheless, they allow a scope of possibilities to be viewed, which previously never existed.

Jill/Jane/Julie the Ripper - Mad Midwife

It has been suggested that the perpetrator of these violent crimes may have been a woman practising under the guise of abortion techniques which would go in some part to explain the brutal mutilations undertaken. But the main objection to this theory is that there has never been a recorded case of a woman performing sadistic mutilation murders.

Montague John Druitt

A failed lawyer whose body was found in the River Thames in December 1888. This coincided with the sudden end of the savage murders.

Severin Klosowski

A Polish immigrant who changed his name to George Chapman upon his arrival to London, and deserving a sub-section all for himself (wife poisoner), he was labelled (But later retracted) as being Jack the Ripper when arrested by Frederick Abberline (in charge of the Ripper atrocities at the time). It is exceptionally unusual for a murderer to change so swiftly his method of killing, and is more likely that in desperation to pin the murders on someone, Klosowski fit the bill.

Dr. Roslyn D'Onston Stephenson

An author and magician who preferred to keep his own activities to himself, has been labelled as the murderer by theorising that the murders were committed as part of some secret initiation/ritual process (5 murders ties in with the belief that the pentagram symbol can be used to channel power to individuals). This belief may have faded over time were it not for Stephenson 'disappearing' sometime in 1904.

HRH Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence

Scandal has always been welcome at the expense of royalty, which is exactly what happened to Queen Victoria's grandson and the spate of East End murders. It has been suggested that Prince Albert, directly or indirectly, had knowledge of who was involved in the murders. Others who may have been instigators of the murders themselves include Sir William Gull (the royal physician), Walter Sickert (An artist) and John Netley (A royal coachman in service). The murders were apparently committed to prevent any 'loose ends' involving a Prince's indiscretion, an illegitimate child and future blackmail attempts. If this is so, why then did five women die if only one was required to be eliminated, of which the identity was known? and why were they killed so gruesomely?

James Kenneth Stephen

Directly linked to Prince Albert by way of being his tutor at Cambridge, it has been claimed he was the murderer due to his homosexuality culminating into a pathological hatred of women in general. If this is so, why didn't he kill any female that he saw, instead of merely confining his murders to the East End?

Dr. Thomas Neil Cream

A serial-killer himself (lady poisoner both abroad and in Europe), his link with the 'Ripper' legacy is that he blurted out "I am jack..." just as he was hanged. The fact that he was incarcerated on American soil at the time hasn't diminished the link.

James Maybrick

Perhaps being one of the most important developments to arise from continued Whitechapel investigations was the surfacing of the infamous "Jack the Ripper Diary" in which the self-confessions of the purported murderer are laid out in an almost enigmatic fashion, with pages torn out and passages scribbled out. Unfortunately, instead of the laying to rest one of the most intriguing cases in human history, equal amounts of scorn and ridicule from sceptics matches the proponents of the diary, firmly believing in the authenticity of the document.


On the 29th September 1888, the Central News Agency received a letter that started off...

"Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they won't fix me just yet...I am down on whores and I shan't quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady [ref. to Annie Chapman] no time to squeal. How can they catch me know? I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me and my funny little games... The next job I do I shall clip the lady's ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly...Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knofe is nice and sharp. I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good luck. Yours truly, Jack the Ripper"

The letter was considered to be genuine, because only a few hours after the infamous double murder on the 30th of September, the police received a postcard referring to the killings. As details of the murders had not been released, all correspondence up to that date were taken seriously.

"I was not codding [joking], dear old Boss, when I gave you the tip. you'll hear about Saucy Jack's work tomorrow. Double event this time. Number one squealed a bit. Couldn't finish straight off. Had not time to get ears for police. Thanks for keeping last letter back till I got to work again. Jack the Ripper."

A few days later he followed this with a gruesome package which was delivered to George Lusk, Chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee. The cardboard box contained a kidney which was previously missing from the body of Catherine Eddowes. A note addressed "From Hell" was enclosed and contained the following message.

"Mr. Lusk. Sir I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman prasarved it for you. tother piece I fried and ate it was very nice. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer. Signed Catche me when you can Mister Lusk."[sic]


The murders created major public outcry in its short span, but it wasn't until details of the second murder were released that the media circus started hounding the police and speculating on who the 'Ripper' might be. This also led to an increase of people who were in favour of organised vigilantism, what with being continually frustrated by the Police attempts to apprehend the felon. Of course, this interference would have undoubtedly clashed with the police's own investigations and perhaps would have explained why the 'Ripper' eluded capture. It is important to remember that murdered prostitutes were hardly the news considered to be digestible over the morning breakfast. Indeed, prior to Mary Nicholls being murdered, Emma Smith was violently attacked when four men rammed an object into her womb. She later died of Peritonitis. It was one of the many examples of prostitutes who were killed by gangs demanding protection money.

The speculation that the murderer had an anatomical understanding of the human body were made known when during the inquest of Mrs. Nicholls, it was suggested that the murderer was left-handed, and that the wounds were "deftly and...skillfully performed". This was reinforced at the examination of Annie Chapman when the coroner stated "An unskilled person could not have down this, only someone used to the post-mortem room.". Once the media distorted the facts and suggested that a mad doctor was responsible for the murders, for a while, no physician was safe in the East End.

During the murder of Catherine Eddowes, the attacker saw fit to write a message in chalk on the wall. It was discovered to say:

"The Juwes are not the men to be blamed for nothing."

With what could have provided the most important clues to the whole investigation (with the slogan possibly having direct references to the Jewish community, or perhaps some masonic overtones), had it not been for the intervention of Sir Charles Warren (Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) decided to erase all trace of the message by rubbing it out, at his insistence of it somehow causing "religious trouble". His actions were made even more extraordinary in the fact that he had acted out of his jurisdiction, as the crime had occurred in the City of London.


Casebook: Jack the Ripper
If you are interested in some of the more detailed aspects involved in the highly complex Whitechapel Murders, this site looks like being one of the most authoritative on the subject...
Who Is Jack the Ripper? - The Game
Think you can deduce who the identity of the infamous "Jack The Ripper" really was? click here to pit your wits against the person responsible for the 1888 "Autumn Of Terror"...

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