When Jack the Ripper was prowling the streets of London it didn’t take much to create panic. There were 11 murders in Whitechapel in the autumn of 1888 but only 5 have been officially connected to Jack The Ripper.
The sadistic serial killer we know as Jack the Ripper has left his bloody mark in the Whitechapel area of London’s East End, an overcrowded neighborhood of poverty and crime where the residents, many of them immigrants, were prone to drunkenness and prostitution. But contrary to what many even now believe, not all five victims were prostitutes.
But in any case they all met the same terrible end, with their throats cut, deep wounds and in most cases organs removed.
The first victim was a mother of five named Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, who was discovered in the early hours of August 31 with a throat cut so deep she was almost decapitated.
Shortly afterwards on 8 September, a second woman was found, this time in a courtyard on Hanbury Street. The victim, identified as Annie Chapman, had had a drinking problem, but before she died she was trying to send her children to some good school. The killer had removed some of her organs as well as cut her throat deeply.
By this time all of London knew that there was a murderous lunatic wandering Whitechapel. This became a subject of speculation from the outset, as the Metropolitan Police had no idea who the culprit might be. The only clear thing was that the modus operandi was that of a madman, which made people even more scared. A certain John Pizer who was a shoemaker was immediately arrested, but he had an excellent alibi and was released. With no culprit or even suspects, people used their imaginations and many foreigners and Jews were accused of being the serial killer.
An increased police presence may have deterred the killer for a while, but then two different victims were found on Sept. 30; Swedish immigrant Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes. It appeared that the killer had been interrupted during the attack on Stride, which explains why her wounds weren’t as extensive as those of the other victims. The latest victim Mary Jane Kelly found on November 9th in her bedroom was the one with the worst injuries. Probably because the scene of the crime was an intern and the killer had had time to do her sadistic acts.
Police suspected a butcher or surgeon due to the killer’s apparent anatomical knowledge, leading Dr Robert Donston Stephenson and American charlatan Francis Tumblety to investigate.
Other names have been touted, including Polish Jew and barber Aaron Kosminski; Montague John Druitt, who took his own life shortly after the last murder; and Joseph Barnett, who was the latest victim’s lover. Author Lewis Carroll, painter Walter Sickert, Queen Victoria’s personal physician Sir William Withey Gull and her nephew Prince Albert Victor were all examined under a microscope. The lack of a culprit and a motive has made Jack the Ripper one of the most famous criminal in history.
There are many and varied theories about Jack the Ripper’s identity and profession, but the authorities agree on none of them, and the number of named suspects exceeds one hundred. Despite continued interest in the case, the Ripper’s identity remains unknown. The term “ripperology” was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases, and the murders have inspired numerous films and novels. We’ve rounded up 20 that have been suspected of being Jack the Ripper.
Among these is also the one who now according to a forensic investigation published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences should be the culprit. Read the culprits again and see if you can guess the culprit. At the end of the article you will have the name of the alleged Jack the Ripper.
Sir William Gull, 1st Baronet of Brook Street. He was Queen Victoria’s official physician. He was accused in the 1970s of being Jack the Ripper or even of being part of the group of people who killed prostitutes in Whitechapel.
Dr Francis Tumblety an Irishman living in America who posed as a doctor, Stewart Evans and Paul Gainey’s 1996 book suggests that Tumblety was Jack the Ripper. It’s not a big surprise because he had already attracted the attention of Scotland Yard at the time of the murders.
James Maybrick was a Liverpool cotton merchant who was killed by his wife. In 1992, a document purported to be Maybrick’s diary appeared in which he confessed to being Jack the Ripper. The diary was later revealed to be a fake.
Even the king’s son was accused of being Jack the Ripper
The Prince Albert Victor, son of King Edward VII and grandson of Queen Victoria, was accused several times of being Jack, some films and screenplays portray him as the notorious serial killer. He died young of pneumonia.
Frederick Deeming, a man who killed his children and two wives and was eventually hanged. A 2011 Discovery documentary believes he was the ripper.
James Kenneth Stephen was Prince Albert Victor’s private tutor. Stephen had mental health issues and was accused in a 1993 play of being Jack the Ripper.
Aaron Kominsky was a Polish Jew who was a hairdresser in Whitechapel. He had mental health issues and said he hated prostitutes. In 2014, Russell Edwards wrote that he proved once and for all that Kominski was Jack the Ripper using mitochondrial DNA. He expects a sequel.
Sir John Williams was the court gynecologist and was accused in a 2005 book of having been Jack the Ripper. Apparently he killed prostitutes to research infertility
Michael Ostrogg was a Russian immigrant who survived by cheating. Sometimes he had passed himself off as a doctor. He was among the suspects during the initial investigations but had actually been in jail in France during some of the crimes.
Montague Druitt came from a family of doctors, was mentally challenged, and committed suicide in Whitechapel in 1888 soon after Jack the Ripper’s last murder. But Druitt lived in Kent and had an alibi for some of the murders.
David Cohenanother Polish Jew who was imprisoned for other reasons shortly after the last crime.
And the painter Walter Sickert…
Walter Sickert the painter was accused several times of being Jack the Ripper including recently by Patricia Cornwell the mystery writer, we know that he was almost obsessed with these crimes. But he seems to have been in France when a couple of crimes were committed.
William Bury killed his wife, a former prostitute in a very similar way to how Jack the Ripper’s victims were killed. He was hanged for his wife’s murder shortly after the Ripper’s last killing.
A long series of strange elements
Dr Thomas Neil Cream was a doctor who performed illegal abortions, he also killed his lover’s husband and was hanged for this. At the gallows he is said to have confessed to being Jack.
John Barnett was the lover of Jack’s last victim, Mary Kelly who was a prostitute. The theory goes that he killed the other women to get Mary to change her life and eventually killed her too during an argument.
Jack on John Pizer a Jewish shoemaker who collected knives. He was among Scotland Yard’s suspects during the initial investigation because he had already stabbed someone and possibly also because he was an immigrant.
Carl Feigenbaum killed a woman in New York and after he was executed his lawyer said he was also Jack the Ripper.
Robert Stevenson was a strange fellow into black magic, one of the first suspects. He only lived in Whitechapel during the time of the murders but as he was in a psychiatric hospital he couldn’t go out and therefore couldn’t be Jack.
George Chapham another Pole who lived in the Whitechapel area at the time of the murders and later killed as many as three wives. He was hanged in 1903 and was one of the first suspects.
James Kelly, first suspected in a 1987 book and later featured in a Discovery documentary. Kelly stabbed his wife to death and lived in the Whitechapel area around the time of the murders. When he lived in the United States there was a series of murders similar to those of Jack the Ripper.
An investigation published in the Journal for Forensic Sciences identified Aaron Kosminski as the notorious Jack the Ripper. Kosminski was named as a suspect over 100 years ago and again in a 2014 book by Russell Edwards using DNA. For the first time, however, Edwards’ DNA test was published in a scientific journal and taken seriously