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My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck. Yours truly Jack the Ripper.
Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper was a British serial killer (possibly prolific) and possible cannibal active in London during the late 1800s. He is widely considered the world's first and most infamous modern serial killer, mainly because he was never caught or even identified.


"Jack" as he called himself, was active in the Whitechapel district of London, England during the late 1800s. Whitechapel itself was known as a Red-Light District of the city; meaning that it was a haven for prostitutes, drug addicts, and gangsters. The London Metropolitan Police estimated that there were 62 brothels and 1,200 active prostitutes at any given time, every one of them a potential target of a serial killer.

The prostitutes that inhabited the Whitechapel District could stay at various common lodging houses, known locally as "Doss Houses" for one or two shillings a night and were often told to leave if they were unable to provide the money. They were often targeted by gangs who threaten to harm them if they were unable to provide any "protection" money.

Following the assassination of the Russian Tsar Alexander II on the 13th March 1881, many Jewish families from all over Eastern Europe immigrated to Britain to escape anti-Semitic persecution that took place, many of them settling down and working in the Whitechapel District.

Involved chiefly in the investigation were Inspector Frederick Abberline of the Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard, Inspector Edmund Reid of the Metropolitan Police H Division based in Whitechapel and Medical Examiner Thomas Bond. They were unsuccessful in capturing or even identifying the Ripper.


Between the 3rd April 1888 and 18th February 1891, there were 11 separate murders of prostitutes, these were referred as the "Whitechapel Murders", some theorized that they were the work of The Ripper, but some of the victims had wounds that didn't matched the Ripper's MO.

The first victim attributed to The Ripper was 43-year-old Mary Ann Nichols. Known as "Polly", Nichols was born Mary Ann Walker on the 26th August 1845 to locksmith, Edward Walker and his wife, Caroline in London's West End district of Soho. On the 16th January 1864, Polly married a printer machinist, William Nichols and from 1866 to 1879, the couple had five children.

Following the breakup of Polly and William's marriage on the 6th September 1880, Polly undertook prostitution work, in the years leading up to her murder, she had been charged with minor offenses, including public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and prostitution. In early 1881, Polly had resided in a workhouse in Lambeth where she listed her occupation as a cleaner. On the 31st May 1881, Polly left the Lambeth Workhouse briefly before returning there on the 24th April 1882. Despite her movements up to 1887 are unknown, it was known that in 1883, Polly had resided with her father in Walworth for several months before leaving after an argument.

William continued to support Polly by sending her a weekly allowance of 5 shillings until Spring 1882 after hearing that Polly was working as a prostitute and legally wasn't required to financially support her. On the 25th October 1887, Polly was arrested along with several other following a demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

In April 1888, Polly undertook work as a domestic servant in Wandsworth, South London but left in July 1888 with clothes worth £3.10s stolen from her employers. Up to her death, Polly resided in a lodging house at 18 Thrawl Street in Spitalfields where she shared a room with an elderly lady named Emily "Nelly" Holland.

Polly was last seen alive at 2:30am on the 31st August 1888 by Holland on the intersection of the Whitechapel Road and the Osborne Road. Polly told Holland that she had money for her lodgings but spent it repeatedly on alcohol. Holland then tried get Polly to come back to the lodging house, but Polly refused and instead heading down Whitechapel Road. At 3:40 am, Polly's body was found by a cartmen, Charles Allen Cross in front of a gated stable in Buck's Row located by an old schoolhouse and about 150 yards from the London Hospital.

In the investigation into Polly Nichols' murder, police had received a minimal number of leads from witnesses. At 11:00pm on the 30th August, Polly was seen walking down Whitechapel Road. She had later then visited the Frying Pan Pub in Brick Lane, Spitalfields, staying until 12:30am on the 31st August. At 1:20am, Polly had arrived back at her lodgings at Flower and Dean Street. At 2:10am, Polly was spotted by the deputy lodging housekeeper who asked Polly if she had the 4d required for a bed for the night When Polly said that she didn't have the money, she was told to leave. Unconcerned, Polly had shown her new black velvet bonnet to the deputy lodging housekeeper, replying: "I'll soon get my doss money. See what a jolly bonnet I've got now" before leaving the lodging house, where 20 minutes later she was spotted by Holland.

At 3am, Harriet Mill who lived at No. 7 Buck's Row was awoken by the noise of a passing goods train travelling on the nearby railway line. As the noise of the train subsided, Mrs. Mill reported hearing sounds of a woman whimpering and moaning coming from the vicinity of the location of Nichols' body. Thinking nothing of it, Mrs. Mill stated that she went back to sleep.

At the inquest into Polly Nichols' death, the Coroner, Doctor Wynne Baxter stated that she died from a neck wound caused by a knife with a moderate long sharp blade that was also used to mutilated Nichols' body, Dr. Baxter also stated that the killer was possible left-handed. Nichols was buried on the 6th September 1888.

Two days later, at 6am on the 8th September 1888, market porter, John Davis who lived at 29 Hanbury Street in Spitalfields had found the body of 47-year-old Annie Chapman. Like Polly Nichols, Chapman was born Eliza Ann Smith in the district of Paddington in London's central area on the 25th September 1840 to soldier, George Smith and his wife, Ruth. In 1854, three of Anne's siblings had died from contracting scarlet fever. On the 1st May 1869, Annie married coachman, John Chapman who had been previously taken in as a lodger by Ruth Smith, following George's death from suicide in 1859. From 1870 to 1880, they had three children. On the 21st November 1882, their eldest child, 12-year-old Emily Ruth Chapman died from meningitis. By 1884, Annie and John's marriage broke up, after moving to Whitechapel in 1886, Annie was still receiving weekly payments of 10 shillings from John until his death on Christmas Day 1886. By May or June 1888, Annie resided in the Crossingham's Lodging House at 35 Dorset Street, paying 8d a night for a double bed. According to lodging-house deputy, Timothy Donovan, Annie would share lodgings with a 47-year-old bricklayer's labourer named Edward "the Pensioner" Stanley who would stay with Annie on Saturdays and Mondays, occasionally paying for her bed. On the 31st August 1888 hours after Polly's murder, Annie and a fellow lodger, Eliza Cooper got into a fight over a bar of soap that Anne had borrowed from Cooper in which Anne threw a halfpenny on the table, telling Cooper, "Go get a halfpenny's worth of soap." Later at the Britannia public house, Anne and Cooper got into another fight, resulting in Annie receiving a black eye and a bruise to her breast. On the 7th September, fellow lodger, Amelia Palmer spotted Annie in Dorset Street. According to Palmer, Anne appeared to be ill and had only been discharged from the casual ward of the Whitechapel Infirmary earlier that day.

The investigation into Annie's murder, had turned a number of leads from witnesses. At 12:10am on the 8th September, Anne was seen drinking in the kitchen of the lodging house with fellow lodger, Frederick Stevens. At 1:35am, Anne returned to her lodging house only to be told to leave by the lodging-house watchman, John Evans after Anne admitted that she didn't have the money for a bed. The last time that Annie was seen alive was at 5:30am when Elizabeth Long saw Annie talking to a man near the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street, in her statement at the inquest, Mrs. Long stated that the man Annie was talking to was little taller than Annie, aged about 40 years old with dark hair and of a "foreign and genteel" appearance, with a deerstalker hat. Mrs. Long remembered seeing Annie at that time as she heard the clock from the brewery located near the scene chime from striking the half hour. Mrs Long also heard the man asked, "Will you?" to which Annie replied, "Yes."

Another witness, Albert Cadosch who lived next door at 27 Hanbury Street had reported that at 5:15am, he heard a woman cried "No, no" followed by a sound of something fall against the fence dividing the yards of 27 and 29 Hanbury Street.

At the inquest into Anne Chapman's death held on the 10th September 1888, Dr. George Phillips stated that Chapman died from a wound to the neck caused by a knife with a blade about 6-8 cm long, most likely a bayonet-type weapon. Further medical evidence revealed that Annie Chapman's face was swollen and her tongue protruding, indicating that she had been asphyxiated as well. Dr Phillips testified that Annie Chapman was suffering from a combination of tuberculosis and syphilis that would've killed her within months.

Anne Chapman was buried in a communal grave at Manor Park Cemetery in Forest Gates, London on the 14th September 1888. Nearly two weeks after Annie Chapman's funeral on the 25th September 1888, the Central News Agency received a two-page letter riddled with spelling and grammatical errors allegedly from the killer. Entitled the Dear Boss letter, the author seemed to be taunting the investigators about their abilities to catch the killer. It has been speculated that the letter was written by a newspaper journalist.

Five days after the Dear Boss Letter was sent, on the 30th September 1888, the Ripper had struck again, this time the Ripper had killed two victims within hours of each other in what was dubbed by the newspapers the Double Event. First of the "Double Event" victims was found at 1am. A steward from the International Working Men's Educational Club at 40 Berner Street, Louis Diemschutz was pulling into the Dutfield's Yard off Berner Street adjacent to the International Working Men's Educational Club with his horse and cart when the horse abruptly pulled to the left. After getting off his cart, Diemschutz noticed a heap in the darkness, as he moved in closer, Diemschutz had discovered the body of 44-year-old Elizabeth Stride. Known as "Long Liz", Elizabeth Stride was born Elisabeth Gustafsdotter to farmer, Gustaf Ericsson and his wife, Beata Carlsdotter in the rural village of Stora Tumlehed, west of Gothenburg in Sweden on the 27th November 1843. Unlike the other Ripper's victims whose circumstances had forced them to turn to prostitution, Stride became a prostitute at an early age. In March 1865, Stride was arrested for prostitution in Gothenburg. On the 21st April 1865, Stride gave birth to a stillborn girl. In late 1865, Stride received an inheritance of 65 krona following the death of her mother in 1864.

Using the inheritance, in February 1866, Stride moved to London where she briefly dated a police officer. On the 7th March 1869, Stride married ship's carpenter, John Stride. Several years into their marriage, the couple resided in the East India Dock Road area and ran a coffee shop in Polar until 1875 when John Stride had sold the coffee shop.

In 1877, Stride was admitted to Polar Workhouse, after separating from John Stride in December 1881, Stride was admitted to a Whitechapel workhouse infirmary after being diagnosed with bronchitis. In January 1882, Stride was released from the infirmary and was believed to resided in a common lodging house on Flower and Dean Street in Whitechapel. On the 24th October 1884, John Stride died from tuberculosis at the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum. From 1885 to her death, Stride had begun a relationship with a dock worker, Michael Kidney residing on occasion with Kidney at Kidney's home in Devonshire Street and her lodgings at Flower and Dean Street. In April 1887, Stride filed an assault charge against Kidney but the charge against Kidney was dropped when Stride failed to appear in court. Four days before her murder, on the 26th September 1888, Stride left Kidney after another argument.

About 45 minutes after the discovery of Stride's body, the second of "The Double Event" victims was discovered. Police Constable Edward Watkins was on foot patrol in Mitre Square on the boundary line between Whitechapel and the City of London, a mile from the scene of Liz Stride's murder. At 1:44am, PC Watkins entered into Mitre Square. Due to the Square's faulty gas streetlamp, PC Watkins noticed a heap in the south-west corner of Mitre Square, as he got closer with his lamp, he discovered the mutilated body of 46-year-old Catherine Eddowes. Upon discovering Eddowes' body, PC Watkins ran over to the Kearley and Tonge warehouse in Mitre Square and summoned the assistance of nightwatchman, George Morris who had himself been a Metropolitan Police officer, stationed at T Division based in Hammersmith until retiring on health grounds on the 13th January 1882.

Known as Kate Conway and Kate Kelly, Eddowes was born in Graiseley Green, Wolverhampton on the 14th April 1842 to tinplate worker, George Eddowes and his wife, Catherine Evans. A year after Catherine's birth, the family moved to London where her parents bore more 10 children.

After the death of her parents in 1857, Eddowes was admitted to a workhouse in Bermondsey as an orphan. Eddowes later left the workhouse and returned to Wolverhampton where an aunt found Eddowes a job as a tinplate worker until she was fired for allegedly theft. Eddowes then moved to Birmingham where she lived with an uncle and worked as a tray polisher for four months before moving back to Wolverhampton and then returning to Birmingham nine months later. While living in Birmingham, Eddowes began a relationship with a former Irish soldier named Tom Conway who had previously served in the Royal Irish Regiment and was receiving a small regimental pension after being medically discharged in October 1861. While there is no record of a marriage between Eddowes and Conway, the couple had two children, a daughter, Catherine Ann born in 1863, and later a son, Thomas Lawrence born in 1867.

In 1868, Eddowes and Conway moved back to London with their two children, settling down in lodgings in the Central London area of Westminster. Shortly after moving to London, Eddowes gave birth to her and Conway's third child and second son in 1873. While in London, Eddowes began to drink heavily. In 1880, Eddowes left Conway and their two younger children and by the following year, began a relationship with a fruit salesman, John Kelly, and residing in Kelly's lodgings at 55 Flower and Dean Street in Spitalfields, London, the centre of London's notorious criminal rookery where she adopted the name, "Kate Kelly". In a later statement given by the deputy of Kelly's lodging house, Frederick William Wilkinson, Eddowes had seldom drunk in excess. In September 1881, Eddowes had appeared at the Thames Magistrates' Court on a drunk and disorderly charge but was acquitted.

While living with Kelly, Eddowes had often undertaken domestic work, including cleaning and sewing for the local Jewish population in Brick Lane and was reported to undertake casual prostitution work. From 1884, Eddowes and Kelly earnt money by performing seasonal hop-picking work in Kent during the summer months. In September 1888, Eddowes and Kelly had travelled to the village of Hunton for the annual seasonal hop-picking. During the journey to Hunton, Eddowes and Kelly stopped at the village of the Maidstone where Eddowes purchased a jacket from a pawnshop and Kelly had purchased a pair of boots from a shop. While in Hunton, both Eddowes and Kelly had met a woman named Emily Birrell and her partner, during which all four had shared accommodation in a barn. At the end of the harvest season, Eddowes and Kelly had returned to London on foot with Birrell and her partner. Half-way into the journey, Eddowes, Kelly, Birrell, and her partner had parted ways, with Eddowes and Kelly returning to London and Birrell and her partner travelling instead to Cheltenham. Before parting ways, Eddowes had received a pawn ticket from Birrell who said to Eddowes, "I have got a pawn ticket for a flannel shirt. I wish you'd take it since you're going to London. It is only for 9d, and it may fit your old man." Eddowes then placed the ticket in a small mustard tin. Both Eddowes and Kelly arrived in London on the 27th September, spending the night in a casual ward at Shoe Lane in the City of London.

The following night on the 28th September, Eddowes and Kelly slept in two separate lodging houses with Eddowes sleeping at a Casual Ward in the Mile End and Kelly sleeping at 52 Flower and Dean Street in Spitalfields. The following morning on the 29th September, Both Eddowes and Kelly met up at Cooney's lodging house on Flower and Dean Street where they had breakfast before going out and purchasing some tea and sugar. Both Eddowes and Kelly had agreed to split their last sixpence between them with Kelly taking fourpence for a bed at the lodging house and Eddowes taking the remaining 2d, enough for her to stay a night at the Mile End casual ward.

The location of Eddowes' body in the Mitre Square meant the investigation into Eddowes' murder was carried out by Detective Inspector James McWilliam from the City of London Police. An hour into the investigation, the Metropolitan Police discovered an important piece of evidence. At 2:55am, Metropolitan Police Constable Alfred Long found a piece of Eddowes' blood-stained apron in the stairway of 108-109 Model Dwellings in Goulston Street, Whitechapel.

Above the apron piece, was a message written in white chalk either on the wall or the black brick jamb of the doorway that read "The Juwes are the men who will not be blamed for nothing". Dubbed the Goulston Street Graffito, the message was removed under orders of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Charles Warren fearing that the message would spark antisemitic riots.

The investigation in the Double Event murders of Stride and Eddowes had turned up a number of leads from witnesses. In the Stride murder, on the 29th September, Stride cleaned two rooms of her lodging house in which she was paid 6d. At 6:30pm, Stride and her landlady, Elizabeth Tanner briefly visited to the Queen's Head Pub on Commercial Street before heading back to the lodging house before going back out again.

Later eyewitness testimony placed Stride in Whitechapel over the evening of the 29th September into the earlier hours of the 30th September in the company of various men, one reported seeing a male with Stride at 11pm on the 29th September near Berner Street. The witnesses described the male as short with a dark moustache, wearing a morning business suit with bowler hat.

Another witness, labourer William Marshall stated that he saw Stride talking to another male on the pavement opposite to No. 58 Berner Street at about 11:45pm, Marshall described the male as "decently dressed" kissing Stride and reportedly said "You would say anything but your prayers" to Stride.

Another witness, Israel Schwartz reported to detectives that at 12:30am on the 30th September, he saw a woman who he identified as Stride being pushed to the ground by a man. As he walked past, the attacker turned around and noticed Schwartz to which he shouted the word "Lipski" to Schwartz.

At the time, the word Lipski was used as an ethnic slur for the Jewish population stemming from the criminal trial and execution of Polish Jewish businessman, Israel Lipski who was hanged on the 22nd August 1887 for the poisoning murder of a pregnant woman named Miriam Angel that occurred a block from the Stride murder scene.

Schwartz then stated he also saw a man smoking a pipe nearby who then began to walk towards Schwartz, causing him to run from the scene. At 12:35am, Police Constable William Smith was on patrol when he saw Stride talking to a male opposite the International Working Men's Educational Club, PC Smith stated that the male wearing a hard felt hat and was carrying a parcel about 18 inches long.

Seeing it not as suspicious, PC Smith continued with his patrol beat towards Commercial Road, another witness, dockworker James Brown saw Stride talking to another male against a brick wall on the corner of Berner Street sometime between 12:35 and 12:45am, Brown described the male as average build wearing a long black coat. As Brown walked past, he heard Stride tell the man "No, not tonight. Some other night." A third witness, Fanny Mortimer, who lived two doors away from the International Working Men's Educational Club, was standing in her doorway on Berner Street, listening to the communal singing coming from the Men's Club at the time of Stride's murder. While Mrs. Mortimer stated that she didn't see anyone entering or exiting Dutfield's Yard, she did mention that a man, carrying a black shiny bag ran past her. While Mrs. Mortimer's description was in the newspaper, the man that Mrs. Mortimer saw, Leon Goldstein was identified as a member of the International Working Men's Educational Club and was dismissed as a suspect.

Like the Stride murder, in the case of Catherine Eddowes, police had also received a number of leads from witnesses. In a statement made by Kelly, in the early afternoon of the 29th September, Eddowes had informed Kelly that she was intended to borrowed money from her daughter, Catherine Ann who by 1888, lived in Bermondsey and had been married to a Southwark gun maker for three years. At 2pm, Eddowes and Kelly parted company in Houndsditch with Eddowes telling Kelly that she would return by 4pm. Using the money from pawning his boots, a bare-foot Kelly returned to his lodgings at 8pm where he remained there all night. Kelly's statement was backed up by the deputy of Kelly's lodging house.

At 8:30pm, PC Louis Robinson from the City of London Police was on patrol in the Aldgate High Street in the City of London when he noticed a small crowd converged outside No. 29. On approaching the crowd, PC Robinson saw the crowd converging around Eddowes lying drunk on the pavement. PC Robinson then assisted Eddowes to her feet and leaned her against the shutters of the building which she fell sideways. Noticing the strong smell of alcohol coming from Eddowes, PC Robinson summoned assistance from another officer, PC George Simmons and the two officers took Eddowes to Bishopsgate Police Station where she was held until she was sober enough to leave. Upon arrival at 8:45pm, Eddowes gave the officers her name as "nothing" and within 20 minutes, Eddowes fell asleep in a cell. At about 12:30am on the 30th September, Eddowes asked the station officer, PC George Hutt when she could be released to which PC Hutt replied, "When you are capable of taking care of yourself." At 1am, Eddowes was deemed to be sober enough to be released and was escorted to the entrance of the police station by PC Hutt. As she was being escorted, Eddowes reportedly stated to PC Hutt, "All right. Good night, old cock." Before her release, Eddowes gave her name as "Mary Ann Kelly of 6 Fashion Street."

After leaving Bishopsgate Police Station, Eddowes headed towards Aldgate in the opposite direction to the short route to her lodging house in Flower and Dean Street. The final sighting of Catherine Eddowes before her death was reported at 1:35am by commercial cigarette trader, Joseph Lawende and his friends, butcher Joseph Levy, and furniture dealer, Harry Harris. In a statement, Lawende stated that he, Levy and Harris had left the Imperial Club located on Duke Place at about 1:30am. Lawende was specific about the time as he looked at the time on his pocket watch. Five minutes later, Lawende, Levy, and Harris were walking along Duke Street when they saw Eddowes talking to a male near the entrance to Church Passage, a narrow passageway that led from Duke Street into Mitre Square located 15 yards from the Imperial Club. In a description, Lawende had described the male being about 5'7 or 5'8, aged about 30 with a medium build, fair complexation, and a fair moustache in a pepper and salt coloured loose fitting jacket and wearing a grey peaked cloth cap and a reddish neckerchief. Lawende had also remarked that the male had the appearance of a sailor.

Five minutes later at 1:40am, PC James Harvey entered and walked down Church Passage towards Mitre Square, stopping short of the Square's entrance since Mitre Square wasn't part of PC Harvey's patrol beat.

The day after the "Double Event" on the 1st October 1888, the Central News Agency received another letter in a form of a postcard from allegedly from the killer. Dubbed as the Saucy Jack postcard, the postcard made references to both the murders of Stride and Eddowes. Text from the postcard read:

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

Two weeks after the Saucy Jack postcard was sent, on the 16th October, another letter was sent allegedly from the killer to the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, George Lusk. Dubbed as the From Hell Letter, the letter was accompanied by a small box containing half of a human kidney preserved in alcohol. In the letter stated the kidney belonged to Eddowes and that he had "Fried and ate" the other half of the kidney.

The remainder of October 1888 had passed without incident, indicating the "sense of normality" was starting to return in Whitechapel. That "sense of normality" was shattered on the morning of the 9th November 1888 with the discovery of the Ripper's fifth and final victim.

At 10:45 on the morning of the 9th November 1888, ex-soldier and rent collector, Thomas Bowyer was sent by his boss, landlord John McCarthy to 13 Miller's Court in Spitalfields to collect rent from the tenant, 25-year-old Mary Jane Kelly who owed six weeks' rent, totalling 29s. When Bowyer received no reply, he attempted to turn the handle but found the door locked. Finding his vision obscured through the keyhole, Bowyer push aside some clothing used to plug the broken windowpane and discovered Kelly's mutilated body lying on her back in her bed. After making the grim discovery, Bowyer ran to report his discovery to McCarthy, who then told him to inform the police. A short time later, Bowyer returned to Miller's Court with Inspector Walter Beck from the Commercial Street Police Station who issued instructions to stop any individuals from entering or exiting the scene, before prompting the assistance of Police Surgeon, Dr. George Phillips and then telegraphing for the assistance of Scotland Yard. Between 11am and 1pm, Inspector Beck was joined by Superintendent Thomas Arnold and Inspector Edmund Reid from the Metropolitan Police H Division based in Whitechapel and the Assistant Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, Robert Anderson and Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline from Scotland Yard. It wasn't until 1:30pm that the officers managed to break down the door to gain access to the room.

According to news reports from 1888, Mary Jane Kelly was described to be around 5'7 with blonde or red hair although it was reported that she may had dark hair with blue eyes. Mary's description had also earnt her the name as "Fair Emma" by the newspapers while she was often known to the public as "Ginger".

According to Detective Chief Inspector Walter Drew in his autobiography, Drew stated that he knew Kelly by sight and described Mary as "Quite attractive" and "a pretty, buxom girl". According to Drew's autobiography, Kelly had "always worn a clean white apron but never a hat". According to Sir Melville Macnaghten (who was the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1903 to 1913), Mary had "considerable personal attractions" by the standards of the time.

In comparison to the Ripper's first four victims, not is known about Mary Jane Kelly's background. According to existing records, Kelly was born in Ireland on the 31st March 1863 in Limerick - whether she meant Limerick as the city or county is unknown. Kelly's former partner and later Ripper suspect, Joseph Barnett had reported her family moved to Wales when Mary was a child. According to another witness, Kelly's former landlady, Mrs Carthy, Kelly's father, John was reported that he worked in the iron works either in Caernarfonshire in Northern Wales or Carmarthenshire in Southwest Wales. Barnett had reported that Kelly told him that she had at least one sister and seven brothers in which one of her brothers, Henry was a soldier with the 2nd Battalion of Scots Guards. Kelly had reported to a friend, Lizzie Albrook that she had a female relative who worked on the theatre stage in London.

According to her friends, in 1879, Kelly married Welsh coal miner John Davies who was later killed in a pit explosion two years later. Following Davies' death, Kelly moved to Cardiff where she stayed with her cousin and earnt a living by mopping floors at a local infirmary. While there are no known records of Kelly's presence in Cardiff, it was believed at this stage that she had turned to prostitution despite no records from the South Wales Constabulary that Kelly was arrested for prostitution.

In 1884, Kelly relocated to London where she worked briefly in a tobacconist's shop in Chelsea in London's West End and by 1885, began working first as a nanny for the artist, Walter Sickert and then as a maid for the Marchioness of Londonderry in the Central London District of Fitzrovia. Through her acquaintance with two French sisters, Héleine and Frederica Maundrell whom she met in Knightsbridge, Kelly had found work in a high-class brothel where she quickly became one of the brothel's most popular girls and spent her earnings on clothing and hiring a carriage. It was reported that one of her clients, Francis Craig took Kelly to France, only for Kelly to return to London two weeks later after having to dislike her life there. After returning to London, she adopted the French name, "Marie Jeanette". By mid 1885, Kelly resided in a lodging house with a woman named Mrs. Buki near the London Docks North Quay. In the period she resided with Mrs. Buki, both Kelly and Buki were known to visit a French lady living in Knightsbridge to demand the return of a box of expensive clothes that belonged to Kelly. According to the information available, it was believed that Kelly ended up in Whitechapel to escape possible retribution from her procurer. It was also believed that it was had this stage that Kelly began drinking heavily.

Between 1885 and 1886, she moved out of Mrs. Buki's lodging house and resided in a lodging house owned by Mrs. Carthy at 1 Breezer's Hill, located between Radcliffe Highway and Pennington Street. According to Mrs. Carthy, Kelly had left Mrs. Carthy's residence and moved in with a local builder whom Mrs. Carthy believed would have married her. Moving towards the poorer areas of the East End, it was reported that Kelly resided with a man named Morganstone near the Commercial Gas Works in Stepney before moving in with mason's plasterer, Joseph Flemming. In 1886, Kelly moved into Cooley's lodging house on Thrawl Street in Spitalfields. On the 8th April 1887, Kelly met fish porter Joseph Barnett who took Kelly for a drink before arranging to meet her following day. After their second meeting on the 9th April, both Kelly and Barnett moved into lodgings on George Street, near Commercial Street, before moving into a second lodging house in Little Paternoster Row. After being kicked out of the Little Paternoster Row lodgings for nonpayment and drunk and disorderly conduct, Kelly and Barnett moved into lodgings on Brick Lane, before moving into lodgings at 13 Miller's Court either in February or March 1888.

At the time of Mary Jane Kelly's murder, 13 Miller's Court was a sparsely furnished single room with a bed, three tables and a chair, with a small tin bath located under the bed. Before being converted, the room had been once the back parlour of 26 Dorset Street and had been partitioned by a small wooden wall. The door directly opened into the small passageway connecting Miller's Court to Dorset Street. The door was illuminated by a small gas lamp nearly directly opposite the door. According to Kelly's German neighbour, Julia Venturney, Kelly broken the windowpane after a drunken argument and had block the broken windowpane with a man's coat to keep the draught from coming into the room. Kelly had used the broken window to unlock and lock the door from the inside as she had lost her door key.

In July 1888, Joseph Barnett was dismissed from his job as a fish porter for allegedly committing theft. As a result, Kelly again turned to prostitution and also took in other prostitutes to give them shelter from the bitter cold. On the 30th October 1888, Barnett and Kelly got into an argument over a letting a prostitute known to Kelly and Barnett as "Julia", resulting in Barnett leaving 13 Miller's Court and moving into lodgings at 24-25 New Street in Bishopsgate. Despite leaving Kelly, between the 1st and the 8th November, Barnett had regularly visited Kelly, occasionally giving her money.

The murder of Mary Jane Kelly is considered as one of the most brutal murders committed by the Ripper. Kelly's throat had been cut from left to right and had been mutilated extensively with various vital organs from Kelly's body found throughout the room. Dr. Thomas Bond and Dr. George Phillips had estimated that Kelly was murdered sometime between 2am and 8am on the 9th November.

In the case of Mary Jane Kelly, the investigation had also turned up a number of leads from a number of witnesses. On the 8th November, Barnett had visited Kelly for the last time, arriving at 13 Miller's Court sometime between 7 and 8pm where he found her in company with her friend named Maria Harvey. Barnett only stayed for a short while, apologizing to Kelly for not having any money for her. Both Barnett and Harvey left Kelly's lodgings at the same time. Barnett returned to his lodgings at New Street where he played cards with other residents until he fell asleep at 12:30am. Shortly before Barnett left Miller's Court, Kelly was visited by Lizzie Albrook who recalled that Kelly was sober and told her, "Whatever you do, don't you do wrong and turn out as I have." Over the evening, Kelly was seen drinking, first with a friend, Elizabeth Foster at the Ten Bells public house at the intersection of Commercial Street and Fournier Street and then later with two acquaintances at the Horn of Plenty pub on Dorset Street.

Kelly's fellow prostitute, 31-year-old Mary Ann Cox who resided at 5 Miller's Court reported seeing Kelly returning home drunk in the company of a man at 11:45pm. Cox had described the man's appearance as being stout with ginger hair, about 36 years of age with a thick mustache, blotches on his face and wearing a bowler hat. Cox had also recalled that the man was carrying a can of beer. Both Cox and Kelly had said goodnight to each other with Kelly saying to Cox, "I am going to have a song" before entering 13 Miller's Court with the man and shutting the door as Cox went back in her room at 5 Miller's Court. Cox recalled that Kelly was singing, "A Violet from Mother's Grave" when Cox left her lodgings at midnight. Another fellow Miller's Court resident, Catherine Pickett had reported that at 12:30am on the 9th November, she got irritated by Kelly singing and had intended to knock on the door of 13 Miller's Court to complain, but Pickett's husband had dissuaded from doing so. When Cox returned to her lodgings at 5 Miller's Court at 1am, Kelly was still singing. Shortly after 1am, Cox left her room again. Cox had also reported that when she returned to her room at 3am, the singing from Kelly's room had stopped and the light had gone out in Kelly's room, although reported, hearing someone leaving Kelly's room at 5:45am. Another witness, Elizabeth Prater who resided in the room directly above Kelly had reported that as she was going to bed at 1:30am, Kelly had stop singing.

The next sighting of Kelly came from unemployed brick labourer and a friend of Kelly, George Hutchinson who reported that he met Kelly in Flower and Dean Street at 2am who had asked him if he could loan her 6d. Hutchinson told Kelly that he couldn't because he spent it in Romford the previous day. Hutchinson had also reported that as Kelly was walking towards Thrawl Street, she was approached by a man. Hutchinson had described the man of being of "Jewish appearance", aged 34 to 35 wearing a cap and red scarf. Hutchinson had believed that man was suspicious because of his appearance. Hutchinson had further stated that he saw man attempted to disguise his features by hiding down his head with his cap over his eyes. Hutchinson stated that he followed them back to the entrance to Miller's Court where he observed them and had overheard Kelly and the man talking. Kelly had complained about losing her scarf, so the man gave Kelly his red scarf. At 2:45am, Hutchinson witnessed Kelly and the man going into Kelly's room. Hutchinson noted the time as he looked at his watch. Hutchinson's statement was partially corroborated by a laundress named Sarah Lewis who reported that as she was heading to spend the night with her friends, the Keylers who resided at 2 Miller's Court, she saw Kelly and the man talking in the passageway to Miller's Court at about 2:30am. Lewis had also spotted Hutchinson observing Kelly and the man from across the street. Lewis was adamant about the time as she heard the clock from the Spitalfields Church chime. Lewis stated that she was asleep at 2 Miller's Court when she was awoken sometime between 3:30am and 4am by the faint cry of "Oh, murder!". This was too corroborated by Prater who was awoken by her cat, Diddles jumping onto her bed. Both didn't take notice as the cry of "Oh, murder! was a common cry in the East End. When Prater left her room at 5:30am for a drink at the Ten Bells, she didn't notice anything suspicious.

Despite Dr. Phillips putting Mary Jane Kelly's time of death as occurring between 2am and 8am, two witnesses came forward claiming seeing Kelly alive after the timeframe of Kelly's death. A acquaintance of Kelly, Caroline Maxwell gave evidence at the inquest into Kelly's death on the 12th November 1888, that she saw Kelly at 8:30am on the 9th November. Maxwell remembered the seeing Kelly at that time based on her appearance and clothing even though she didn't know her well. The second witness, tailor Maurice Lewis (unrelated to Sarah Lewis) who resided in Dorset Street told the newspapers that he reported seeing Kelly two hours later at 10:30am. Due to the sighting given as occurring after the timeframe of Kelly's murder, Lewis wasn't called to give evidence at the inquest.


There have been many theories concerning the identity of The Ripper, mostly involving royal figures, prominent businessmen, and even a female Jewish immigrant. These include, but are not limited to:

George Chapman

George Chapman, another English serial killer who also murdered women.

William Henry Bury

Sketch of William Henry Bury, a convicted murderer.

Thomas Neill Cream

Thomas Neill Cream, a serial killer who murdered five prostitutes.

Robert Stephenson

Robert Stephenson

David Cohen

David Cohen

James Sadler

James Salder

Frederick Deeming

Frederick Deeming, another English serial killer

Montague Druitt

Montague Druitt

Prince Albert Victor

Prince Albert Victor

Walter Sickert

Walter Sickert

John Pizer

John Pizer

James Maybrick

James Maybrick, the supposed author of the "diary of Jack the Ripper.

Carl Feigenbaum

Carl Feigenbaum

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll

Michael Ostrog

Michael Ostrog


H.H. Holmes, considered as the first modern American serial killer.

Francis Tumblety

Dr. Francis Tumblety

Joseph Barnett

Joseph Barnett

  • George Chapman:
    • Real name was Seweryn Klosowski.
    • A barber, bartender, and former surgeon.
    • Was another English serial killer who murdered three women through means of poisoning.
    • Was sentenced to death and hung.
    • Believed to be the Ripper by lead investigator Frederick Abberline.
    • Dismissed by some as a suspect due to the fact that a serial killer rarely makes a drastic change in their method of killing.
  • William Henry Bury:
    • Was convicted of murdering his wife Ellen (who may have been a prostitute).
    • Was sentenced to death and hanged in 1889.
    • The murder occurred shortly after the Ripper killings stopped.
    • Also had a previous abode in the Whitechapel.
  • Thomas Neill Cream
    • A Scottish-Canadian serial killer
    • Killed five prostitutes by poisoning them.
    • Was hanged in 1892.
    • Confessed to the Ripper killings shortly before his execution.
    • Was dismissed because he was incarcerated in Illinois at the time of the Ripper killings.
  • Robert Stephenson
    • A writer and journalist.
    • Had a personal theory as to the identity of the Ripper
    • Was suspected to have committed the murders as part of a "black magic" ritual.
    • Was allegedly in love with a prostitute and contracted venereal disease from others.
    • Was also suspected of killing his wife (who disappeared).
  • David Cohen:
    • A Jewish cobbler.
  • James Sadler:
    • Was suspected of killing possible Ripper victim Frances Coles.
    • Was dismissed due to having a solid alibi.
    • Disappeared after getting on a smuggler's ship heading for Caribbean.
  • Frederick Deeming:
    • Another English serial killer
    • Was convicted of killing two of his wives and four of his own children
    • Was sentenced to death and hanged in 1892.
  • Aaron Kosminski:
    • A Polish Jewish barber.
    • Was put in an insane asylum in 1891, after the killings ended.
    • Was supposedly linked to the Ripper crimes in September 2014 through DNA evidence extracted from a shawl found near Catherine Eddowes[1]
    • Linked to the Ripper again in 2019.
  • Montague John Druitt:
    • A schoolmaster and barrister.
    • Committed suicide after the death of Mary Jane Kelly.
    • Was "sexually insane".
    • Possibly suspected by his mentally unstable family to be the killer.
    • Possibly committed suicide due to regret or out of fear of being caught and to take his secrets with him in death.
      • However, it is also likely that he killed himself because he was homosexual, which was illegal at the time, or due to some unknown hereditary illness.
    • The Ripper was believed to be a local resident of Whitechapel, but Druitt lived miles away on the other side of the Thames in Kent.
    • Dismissed as a suspect by Inspector Frederick Abberline.
  • Prince Edward Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale:
    • The grandson of Queen Victoria.
    • Heir to the throne.
    • Believed to have contracted syphilis from a prostitute which caused him to commit the murders himself.
    • Would easily sway victims as he was a powerful royal.
    • A highly unlikely suspect due to the theory's authenticity and that he was not in London at the time.
  • Walter Sickert:
    • A German-born painter.
    • Believed to be the Ripper due to his painting of the "Ripper's Room".
    • Involved in the "royal conspiracy", believed to have been the assassin hired to execute the five prostitutes who knew of an affair going on between the Prince and a local prostitute named "Annie Crook".
    • Had once employed the Ripper's fifth and final victim, Mary Jane Kelly as a nanny.
    • Widely dismissed as the Ripper due to his strong alibi that he was in France at the time of the murders.
  • John Pizer:
    • A Polish Jewish bookmaker.
    • Was named by police as "Leather Apron" after the murder of Annie Chapman.
    • Had strong alibis for the murders.
    • Was known to have a large collection of knives.
    • Was known to threaten prostitutes.
  • James Maybrick:
    • Alleged himself to be the author of the "diary of Jack the Ripper", however the diary was confirmed as a fake due to the ink containing a preservative not invented until the 1970s.
    • Alleged himself to be the owner of a pocket watch with the initials of all five victims signed by "J Maybrick".
      • The scratches from the watch were determined to have not been made in modern times.
    • Died from arsenic poisoning on the 11th May 1889.
      • Maybrick's wife, Florence was convicted for Maybrick's murder, and was initially sentenced to death, but was commuted to life imprisonment in 1890 with her sentence served at the Woking District Female Convict Prison and then, HM Prison Aylesbury before being released in 1904. After her release, Florence returned to the US, settling in New Milford, Connecticut where she died on the 23rd October 1941.
  • Unnamed female, a.k.a. "Jill the Ripper":
    • A widely speculated theory.
    • The lead inspector on the Ripper case, Frederick Abberline, was the first of the investigating officers to suggest that Jack may, in fact, be a Jill.
    • Mary Pearcey:
      • Believed to be "Jill the Ripper" by a many.
      • Convicted of the murder of her husband's former lover and baby.
      • Was hanged in 1889.
  • Sir William Gull:
    • Physician to Queen Victoria and the British royal family.
    • Involved in the "royal conspiracy" as an assassin sent to kill the five victims.
    • Was 71 at the time of the murders and had recently suffered from a stroke.
    • In no way matched eyewitness accounts of the possible murderer.
  • Carl Feigenbaum:
    • Also went by the name, Anton Zahn.
    • Was named as the Ripper on two occasions, first by Feigenbaum's lawyer, William Lawton in a letter sent to the New Haven Register newspapers after Lawton's suicide in Chicago in February 1897, and later by novelist and former British Murder Squad detective, Trevor Marriott in his novel, Jack the Ripper: The 21st century investigation, published in 2005.
    • German merchant sailor.
    • Worked for the German Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company.
    • Was a crewman on the NDL ship, Reiher that was docked at the London Docks within walking distance of Whitechapel.
      • The official records for ships docked at London Docks had shown that the Reiher was in port on the dates of the murders, having arrived from the German port city of Bremen.
    • Was suspected in the murders of several women that bore similarities to the Ripper's victims in Germany, Nicaragua, Switzerland, and the United States between July 1889 and August 1894.
    • Was convicted of an unrelated murder and executed in New York in 1894.
    • Claimed to have an unexplained desire to kill and mutilate women.
    • Executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York on the 27th April 1896.
  • Lewis Carroll:
    • Author of Alice in Wonderland.
    • Has been proposed on a suspect based on possible anagrams in his work.
    • The theory is not taken seriously.
  • Michael Ostrog:
    • A con artist and thief.
    • Was ruled out since he was incarcerated during the time of the murders.
    • His fate and date of death are unknown.
  • An unidentified American serial killer (dubbed the Servant Girl Annihilator) has been suggested by some as being connected to the Ripper.
  • H.H. Holmes:
    • Dubbed as the first modern American serial killer.
    • Known con artist and bigamist.
    • Was named as the Ripper by Holmes' descendant, Jeff Mudgett.
    • Was suspected to be in London at the times of the murders as two of Holmes' aliases were found on the Transatlantic passenger lists dated before and after the murders.
    • Confessed to 27 murders from 1891 to 1894 but only convicted of nine murders.
    • Murdered his victims at a former hotel building dubbed as "The Murder Castle" and had later disposed his victims' remains at a secondary location.
    • Was reported that he had sold full sets of his victims' skeletons to medical schools.
    • Was reported that he had sold the organs taken from the Ripper's victims to an unknown British doctor for £20 (£3,072 in today's value).
    • Committed most of his murders during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair as Holmes' Building was in close distance to the World's Fair site.
    • Hanged at Moyamensing Prison in Philadelphia on the 7th May 1896.
  • Doctor Francis Tumblety:
    • American self-proclaimed "Indian Herbal Doctor".
    • Had been named as a suspect by the head of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch, Detective Chief Inspector John Littlechild in a letter to journalist and author, G.R Sims in September 1913.
    • Was arrested as a suspected co-conspirator involved in the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln but was released without charge.
    • Had a hatred towards prostitutes, blaming them for a failed marriage.
    • Had resided in a boarding house in the Whitechapel District at the time of the murders.
    • Was reported by his landlady coming back to his boarding house covered in blood on the night of the "Double Event" murders of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.
    • Was charged with gross indecency after being caught engaging in sexual acts with another man as homosexuality was a criminal offence in Britain under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 until 1967, later released on bail of £300 (£33,000 in today's value).
    • Left London soon after the murders.
  • Joseph Barnett:
    • Known as Danny Barnett, Joe Barnett and Jack.
    • Mary Jane Kelly's former partner.
    • Worked as fish porter before being fired for theft and a construction worker.
    • Had left Mary Jane Kelly after an argument in October 1888.
    • Was possibly first named as the Ripper by "Double Event" victim, Catherine Eddowes, leading to the theory that Eddowes' murder occurred to silence a potential witness.
    • First named as a possibly suspect in the 1970s.
    • Had extensive knowledge of the Whitechapel area.
    • Was of Irish origin, so he could have written the "From Hell" letter addressed to George Lusk, which contained idioms from that language.
    • Would've had either crude or relatively simple anatomical knowledge as a fish porter to perform the mutilations.
    • An escape route the Ripper took lead to Barnett's home, where he could've washed off any traces of blood on him at the fountain at Millers Court.
    • Was seen interacting with Kelly after their fight, seemingly on peaceful terms.
    • An envelope that belonged to Barnett was found at the corner of Hanbury Street, the site of Annie Chapman's murder.
    • Would've had the key to 13 Miller's Court where Kelly's body was found and would've locked the door after committing the murder.
      • Barnett falsely claimed that the key to the house was lost.
    • Matches with eyewitness accounts of men who had interacted with the victims prior to their deaths.
    • Possibly charmed the local prostitutes who let their guards down when confronting him, as he was the boyfriend of a patron.
    • The grisly and violent acts of mutilation against Kelly could've been from Barnett in a fit of rage, more than the other victims' wounds due to his extensive relationship with Kelly.
    • Died from pulmonary edema and acute bronchitis on the 29th November 1926.
    • Matches the FBI's psychological profile of the murderer.
  • Hyam Hyams:
    • Cigar-maker
    • Served time in and out of mental health institutions until his death in 1913
    • Resembled the Ripper's physical description
    • Suffered from a severe case of epilepsy, delusions and violent mood swings
    • Attacked his wife and mother with a knife
    • Known to attack hospital staff and destroy property while institutionalized
    • Raised on Mirte Street, which isn't far from Mirte Square, the location of Catharine Eddowes' murder
    • Possibly fit a loosely similar description made by Emily Marsh of a strange man entering her father's leather shop at 218 Jubilee Street wearing a long black coat and asking for the address of George Lusk, the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee at the time. It was believed that the stranger was also watching Lusk's home. Following this was when Lusk discovered a kidney in the mail.
    • Stated his home address as 217 Jubilee Street, which is right next door to the Marsh's leather shop at 218 Jubilee Street.
    • A couple of relatives worked in areas that were connected to some of the murder sites and the evidence found either at/or near them.

Modus Operandi


The Ripper's "From Hell" letter, in which he included a part of a kidney taken from a victim.

The Ripper targeted Caucasian female prostitutes in the Whitechapel area. He killed them by slashing their throats, proceeding to eviscerate them when they were dead. Because bruises older than the cuts were found on the necks of many of the canonical victims, it has been suspected that the Ripper strangled his victims into submission with his bare hands before slashing them. The murders would always occur on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, within the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. He would often take an organ or two as a trophy and once sent half of a kidney to George Lusk, head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, as proof of his identity (the accompanying letter claimed that the killer had eaten the other half). It is reported that the body of Mary Jane Kelly was so grotesquely slaughtered that she was unrecognizable. Her body was also posed with the legs parted, as was another victim.


"I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled."

In the book The Cases That Haunt Us by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, there was a profile of Jack the Ripper made by Douglas and Roy Hazelwood. According to them, the Ripper was a disorganized, paranoid killer. He would have been a white male in his late 20s to early 30s who was raised in a household marked by a passive or absent father and a dominant mother who may also have been promiscuous and/or an alcoholic. He later became an introverted, antisocial loner who set fires and tortured animals as an outlet for his anger. At the time of the murders, he would have been calm, quiet, and inconspicuous.

If he had a job, he would have chosen one in which he could pursue his interests, such as a morgue worker, butcher, mortician's assistant, low-ranking hospital staff, etc., since the way the Ripper cut out organs from his victims suggests some anatomical knowledge. The times of the murders indicate that he would have had days off on certain weekends and holidays and could come and go from his home as he pleased without anyone noticing. He was also probably neither married nor involved in any committed relationship, the majority of his association with women having most likely been prostitutes.

He may have had some physical defect that made him feel inadequate or unattractive. Because of a negative self-image, he displayed paranoid traits and carried one or more knives for self-defense purposes. Prior to the murders, he may have visited pubs and drunk in order to relieve himself of some tension. He may also have been seen wandering on the streets looking for potential victims. It is possible that he was at one point interviewed or questioned by the police.

Known Victims

All of the following were attacked in and around the Whitechapel district area

The "Canonical Five"

The five victims confirmed to have been murdered by the Ripper

  • 1888: Whitechapel
    • August 31, Buck's Row: Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols, 42 (throat was slashed twice; her lower abdomen was cut repeatedly and partially ripped open post-mortem)
    • September 8, 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields: Annie Chapman, 47 (throat was slashed twice; disemboweled, threw her intestines over her shoulder, removed her uterus and parts of her vagina and bladder post-mortem, and took them)
    • The September 30 "double event":
      • Dutfield's Yard: Elizabeth Stride, 44 (throat was slashed once; wasn't mutilated significantly post-mortem)
      • Mitre Square, the City of London: Catherine Eddowes, 46 (throat was slashed; her abdomen was ripped open and an earlobe and a kidney removed post-mortem)
    • November 9, 13 Miller's Court, Dorset Street: Mary Jane Kelly, 24 (throat slashed down to the spine and severely mutilated almost beyond recognition; removed her heart and took it post-mortem)


Victims who were killed during the so-called "Whitechapel murders", which is heavily suspected of being perpetrated by the Ripper and also includes the Canonical Five

  • 1888:
    • April 2, Osborn Street: Emma Elizabeth Smith, 45 (assaulted, violated with a blunt instrument, and robbed; fell into a coma and died two days later, was suspected that a gang was responsible)
    • August 6, George Yard Buildings, George Yard: Martha Tabram, 39 (was stabbed 39 times in the body and neck)
    • December 20, Clarke's Yard: Rose Mylett, 29 (strangled; some suspect she died by accident or natural causes as there were no signs of a struggle)
  • 1889:
    • July 17, Castle Alley: Alice McKenzie (her throat was slashed and her abdomen wounded; some suspect she was the victim of a copycat)
    • September 10, Pinchin Street (found): "The Pinchin Street torso" (real name unknown; throat was slashed; no other body parts were found)
  • February 13, 1891, Swallow Gardens: Frances Coles (thrown violently to the ground and her throat slashed twice)

Other Possible Victims

Other victims suspected to have been attacked by the Ripper that were not counted in the Whitechapel murders

  • 1888:
    • February 25, unspecified location: Annie Millwood (stabbed in the legs and abdomen; survived; later died of apparent natural causes over a month later)
    • March 28, unspecified location: Ada Wilson (stabbed twice in the neck; survived)
    • November 21 (reported), unspecified location: Annie Farmer (throat was superficially slashed; survived; the wound was possibly self-inflicted)
    • October 2 (found), various locations (discovered): An unidentified woman (case was dubbed the "Whitehall Mystery"; decapitated, dismembered, and her parts found in various locations of London)
    • December 29, Manningham, Bradford: John Gill, 7 (legs were severed, his abdomen opened and his intestines slung out, and his heart and one ear were removed)
  • June 2-25, 1889 (dates of discovery of parts), the river Thames: Elizabeth Jackson (decapitated and dismembered in the same manner as the "Whitehall Mystery" victim)
  • Notes:
    • There is a serial killer dubbed "The Torso Killer", who was active near the river Thames between May 1887 and September 1889, where the parts of his or her victims were discovered. He or she was suspected of having murdered, among his or her victims, the Pinchin Street torso and the "Whitehall Mystery" victim, as well as Elizabeth Jackson.
      • It is also speculated the Thames Torso Killer was responsible for a series of similar murders that occurred between 1873 and 1902, where body parts of women were discovered throughout Central London and Paris. Included in the case were:
        • The parts of two women discovered in the districts of Battersea and Putney between September 1873 and June 1874, dubbed as the "Battersea Mystery".
        • The parts of a woman discovered in Tottenham Court Road and Bedford Square on the 24th October 1884, both dubbed as the "Tottenham Court Road" and the "Bedford Square" Mysteries.
        • The dismembered torso of a woman discovered on the steps of Montrouge church in Paris in November 1886, dubbed as the "Le mystere de Montrouge".
        • The dismembered torso of a woman discovered in Salamanca Alley in the district of Lambeth, London in June 1902, dubbed as the "Lambeth Mystery".
    • Carrie Brown, a.k.a. "Shakespeare" (reportedly for quoting William Shakespeare's sonnets), was briefly suspected of being a victim of the Ripper victim. Her body was found strangled with clothing and mutilated by a knife in New York City on April 24, 1891. Her murder was compared to the deaths at Whitechapel, but any connection between the two cases was ruled out.
    • Due to the fact he was never caught and the suspicion that he is responsible for many more murders leads to the possibility that Jack may be responsible for many more unsolved or undiscovered murders.


There are no documents in the Whitechapel murder file dated after 1896. The murderer or murderers were never identified, and the cases remain unsolved.

The poor of the East End had long been ignored by affluent society but the nature of the murders and of the victims drew attention to their living conditions. The murders galvanized opinion against the overcrowded, insanitary slums of the East End and led to demands for reform. On September 24, 1888, George Bernard Shaw commented sarcastically in a letter to The Star newspaper on the media's sudden concern in social justice:

Whilst we conventional Social Democrats were wasting our time on education, agitation, and organization, some independent genius has taken the matter in hand, and by simply murdering and disemboweling ... women, converted the proprietary press to an inept sort of communism.

Acts of Parliament, such as the Housing of the Working Classes Act 1890 and the Public Health Amendment Act 1890, set minimum standards for accommodation in an effort to transform degenerated urban areas. In the two decades after the Whitechapel murders, the worst of the slums were closed down and demolished.

Sensational reportage and the mystery surrounding the identity of the killer or killers fed the development of the character "Jack the Ripper", who was blamed for all or most of the murders. Hundreds of books and articles discuss the Whitechapel murders, and they feature in novels, short stories, comic books, and films of multiple genres. There is even an entire science dedicated to the Ripper murders called "Ripperology".


Derek Brown.

Some modern-day serial killers have been compared to the Ripper (a name which is sometimes part of their nicknames). An example is an unidentified English serial killer active between 1964 and 1965 nicknamed "Jack the Stripper", so named because all of his known victims were prostitutes who were found undressed, having suffered head injuries, died of various causes and been dumped in the Thames. Another is Peter Sutcliffe, a.k.a. "The Yorkshire Ripper", another English serial killer who also targeted prostitutes. He would strike them from behind with a blunt object and then stab them. Yet another is Colin Ireland, a.k.a. "Jack the Gripper", who would beat and torture his victims before killing them by some form of asphyxiation, though he didn't attack or mutilate any of his victims with a knife. Furthermore, the word "Ripper" is often included in the nicknames of serial killers whose murders often involved the use of sharp instruments and mutilation; examples include the aforementioned Sutcliffe; Andrei Chikatilo, a.k.a. "The Rostov Ripper"Robert Napper, a.k.a. "The Plumstead Ripper"; Anthony Hardy, a.k.a "The Camden Ripper"; and the uncaught Gilgo Beach Killer, who also had the nicknames "The Craigslist Ripper" and "The Long Island Ripper".

In 2008, a convicted rapist obsessed with serial killers, named Derek Brown, tried to copy the M.O. of the Ripper. Brown picked up a prostitute named Bonnie Berrett and a DVD seller, Xiao Mei Guo, in the same Whitechapel area where the Ripper was active. He then brought the women to his flat, where they were murdered and butchered in a bathtub. He was subsequently nicknamed the "Jack the Ripper Killer" by the press.

On Criminal Minds


Jack the Ripper, as depicted in a flashback sequence in "Jones"

  • Season Two
    • "Sex, Birth, Death" - Jack the Ripper is first mentioned when Nathan Harris tells Reid he has read a lot of Ripper-based literature, mostly comics. Later, Nathan is shown writing Ripper-related fan-fiction on his laptop. He may have also been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Ronald Weems - Both were "house-cleaner"-type serial killers who operated on city streets at night, targeted Caucasian female prostitutes out of hatred, wore black clothing, used bladed weapons to kill them, left messages for the authorities, mutilated and desecrated the women's corpses, and would change from straight-up violent murders to distinctive M.O.s and back again.
    • "Jones" - Jack the Ripper was mentioned again when Sarah Danlin began copying his M.O. (though she targeted men and killed more). One of his crimes was briefly dramatized.
    • "No Way Out" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode or its part 2, Jack the Ripper appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Frank Breitkopf - Both were prolific (possibly in Jack the Ripper's case) serial killers who were incredibly sophisicated and organized, targeted the 'unwanted'/high-risk victims (mainly women), and performed vivisection and dismemberment on their victims with bladed weaponry.
  • Season Four
    • "Zoe's Reprise" - Jack the Ripper was one of the many serial killers mentioned throughout this episode. He is also one of the killers who the episode's unsub, Eric Olson copied (murdered a prostitute named Lily Nicks, whose murder was inspired by Jack the Ripper's murder of Elizabeth Stride).
  • Season Five
    • "Exit Wounds" - While never directly mentioned or referenced in the episode, Jack the Ripper appears to be an inspiration for the episode's main unsub, Owen Porter - Both were serial killers who murdered by stabbing (though Porter used other means), eviscerated and mutilated their victims, stole their organs, reportedly ate an organ from one victim, slung the intestines of one victim over their shoulder, killed their last victim inside their home, escalated their murders as they became more violent and bolder, and killed five victims in total.
  • Season Six
  • Season Eight
    • "Pay It Forward" - Jack the Ripper was mentioned as an example of serial killers who stop killing and disappear.
  • Season Eleven
    • "Tribute" - Jack the Ripper was mentioned again and was one of the serial killers the episode's unsub, Michael Lee Peterson copied (murdered several women by slitting their throats and eviscerated them).

On Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

  • Season Two
    • "Il Mostro" - While the Ripper was never directly mentioned or referenced on Beyond Borders, he seems to have been an inspiration for Dominico Scarpa - Both were prolific (possibly in the Ripper's case) and uncaught (initially in Scarpa's case) serial killers who targeted women (though Scarpa also killed men), mutilated them post-mortem with bladed weapons, were given nicknames for their crimes, the investigations into their crimes went cold, and inspirated at least one copycat serial killer. Also, Scarpa using his own surgical tools on his victims could be a nod towards the Ripper theoretically being a surgeon.



  1. Note that at the time of this writing, the DNA testing, carried out by Ripperologist author Russell Edwards and Dr. Jari Louhelainen, has not yet gone through peer review.