The Story of Jack The Ripper, the World's No. 1 Mass Murderer

jack the ripper

Jack the Ripper is the name given to an unknown mass murderer who was active in the poor neighborhood of Whitechapel and adjacent districts of London, England. The name comes from a letter sent to the London Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the killer. The victim was a woman suspected of working as a prostitute, who was killed in a public place in the middle of the night. Her throat was cut, and then her body was mutilated. Theories suggest that the victims were first strangled, to silence them, which may explain the lack of blood reported at the crime site. Since the internal organs of the three victims were also removed it is likely that the killer had some knowledge of anatomy or surgery.

Newspapers, which were widely published, made the case widespread and long-lasting due to the violence and the failure of the police to catch the killer. As the identity of the killer was never confirmed, the legend surrounding the murder has become a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. Many writers, historians, and amateur detectives have proposed theories about the identity of the killer and his victims.

In 1888, the world's most notorious mass murderer stalked the dark streets of London's East End. 'Jack the Ripper is a mass murderer who makes a killing every year. Many fear around the recent Washington sniper incident, for example, has much in common with the terror created by this criminal. In these types of cases, the effect is to increase the mystery that surrounds the identity of the real killer. Jack the Ripper was not caught and to this day it has never been conclusively proven who he really was. 

London's Whitechapel district was known as one of the poorest areas of the city, and at the time, was home to over a thousand prostitutes. It was also the area that would be the focus of the Ripper's attacks.

The terror began on August 31, 1888, when a porter saw a woman lying in a doorway in Buck's Row in Whitechapel. Instead of approaching the woman, the porter went to see the police who were manning the post. When he arrived, he found the woman's throat had been cut and a medical examination later revealed that her body had been mutilated. Her identity was also discovered: she was Mary Ann Nichols, known as Polly, a 42-year-old prostitute. A week later, at 6am on September 8, another woman's body was found on Hanbury Street, near Buck's Row. She was Annie Chapman, a 45-year-old prostitute whose head had been almost severed from her neck, and her guts had spilled out. Fear began to spread throughout society. The police were strengthened and the public became more cautious.

Just like modern mass murder cases, the influence of conjecture, myth and rumor in newspaper coverage caused a lot of anxiety. By the time the Ripper struck again, the Whitechapel area. In the early morning darkness of September 30, a costume jewelry salesman arrived at the house on Berners Street, where he found the body of Elizabeth Stride, a prostitute who had been torn from her throat. As police rushed to the scene and searched nearby streets, the Ripper set off for Mitre Square, in the City of London, and murdered Catharine Eddowes. Although the previous victim had not been mutilated, many believe that the Ripper had been distracted during this procedure. Eddowes was not so well attended to and she was found with her stomach ripped open. The night became known as the 'double event', and was the focus of many letters sent to the police.

The police believed they had discovered a pattern of the first murder occurring on August 31, the second on September 8, and the third and fourth on September 30. They believed the next one would happen on October 8, but their estimates were off. The final murder actually took place on November 9 at Miller's Court, a building close to where the other murders took place. Another prostitute, 24-year-old Mary Jane Kelly, was found by her landlord with her body completely mutilated. This time, the murder took place inside, and the killer had dissected the body last night. Although these five murders were all assigned to the Ripper, it is likely that he killed two or three more women in London around that time.

However, the police were puzzled to discover the real name of the person behind the crime and used a policy of information suppression to try to convince the public. Despite this, Londoners were fully aware that police work was proving unsuccessful in getting a clear picture of the Ripper's identity. But some of those in power had their own theories, and many police doctors who examined the bodies of victims said that the Ripper was likely someone with medical skills. In 1894, the Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Melville Macnaghten, wrote a report that mentioned Montague John Druitt (a lawyer who committed suicide shortly after Kelly's murder) as the most likely suspect. However, at the time Macnaghten believed Druitt to be a trained doctor, which later became evidence of false research. Macnaghten also named two more possible Rippers. The first was Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew living in the Whitechapel area who had been admitted to an asylum in March 1889.

Although one of the lead investigating officers, Robert Anderson, had great faith in Kosminski's guilt, the Pole's behavioral records from his time in the mental hospital contained no evidence that he was killed. Macnaghten's last suspect, Michael Ostrog, was a Russian madman. Despite being a convicted criminal and possibly undergoing some medical training, his behavior under studied conditions also did not indicate any ability to commit multiple murders. In recent years, Ripper investigators have considered Dr. Francis Tumblety, an American doctor who fled to London shortly after the murders. Despite considering him as a suspect, the Metropolitan Police at the time decided to ignore him. Like other mysteries, the identity of the Ripper has become the subject of conspiracy theories.

This has led to people from all levels of society such as members of the monarchy, royal servants, high-ranking police officers, Russian spies, and even deranged evangelists being suspected of being The Ripper. However, in recent years a study has been conducted by crime writer, Patricia Cornwell. She used 4 million dollars of her own money to investigate whether there was a link between the Ripper and Walter Sickert, an impressionist painter who may have had connections to Whitechapel around the date of the murders.

Twenty years after the murders, he created a set of paintings portraying dead and violently abused prostitutes. Cornwell has used modern technology and intense testing of his work and it is with guilt that Sickert has had his reputation damaged for being the Ripper. Modern Ripper investigators, like the Victorian London police force, disagree with each other. There were so many unsavory characters roaming London at the time that almost any suspect could be linked to the murders in some way.

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