It’s no secret that one of the most famous unsolved murders in history is that of the serial killer Jack the Ripper. These events happened between August 31 and November 9, 1888, in the impoverished areas around Whitechapel in London. With five known victims, there are hundreds of theories about the identity of the killer but only a few suspects named, with many of them only coming into play in recent years.
Everything played out exactly the way he wanted - even the moniker was coined by him in a letter he wrote to the police, now known as a “Dear Boss” letter, on September 25, 1888. Read on for details of the almost 130-year-old unsolved murders that still baffles experts today.
The mystery all started on August 31, 1888. Two men walked along the streets when they stumbled upon Jack the Ripper’s first victim. Her name was Mary Ann Nichols and she was discovered lying alone on the sidewalk at 3:40 am. Be warned: some of the pictures you’ll view in this thread may be graphic. The picture attached is the photo taken of Ms. Nichols the night she died. Her body was horribly mutilated: throat slashed with two cuts, her belly was partially sliced open, and lacerations on her midsection. He used the very same knife for every cut.
Why on Earth would anyone do that to another human being?
Annie Chapman died only eight days after Mary Ann Nichols. At 6 am on September 8, Chapman’s body was discovered not far from where Nichols’ was. Chapman’s esophagus was sliced with two cuts - exactly how Nichols’ had been. The difference between them was how Chapman’s stomach was cut fully open, and the Ripper removed her uterus. During the investigation, one witness actually saw her. She was walking casually with a man at about 5:30 am. She was alive and well just half an hour before her demise. Who was this strange man?
Was she with her murderer moments before she was killed?
The Ripper waited 22 days before taking his next victim. Unfortunately, he took two lives in one night this time. September 30, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes met their end in the wee hours. Elizabeth was found at about 1 am, and she had her throat cut just once on the side of her neck. It’s debated whether she was actually one of his victims because of the lack of cuts to her body. Perhaps he was interrupted during the attack or it was someone else entirely.
Catherine, on the other hand, was found 45 minutes later. Her larynx was slit, and her belly torn open.
The Ripper took her left kidney and most of her uterus.
His last confirmed victim was Mary Jane Kelly. She died on November 9, in her one-bedroom apartment at about 10:45 am. The most gruesome of the Ripper’s killings, her jugular was cut to her spine, and her belly almost completely emptied of organs. Even her heart was missing.
Although there is a lot of debate as to whether these are his murders and whether there were more victims, these five are considered his ‘canonical murders’. Even the suspect descriptions differ from one case to the next. Even after 130 years, the question remains:
Who is Jack the Ripper? Next are the few people suspected of being the Ripper.
Montague John Druitt was the first man implicated of being Jack the Ripper in 1888. He was placed on the list as he killed himself only a month after the last confirmed murder occurred. He was later removed as a serious suspect when the profile of Jack the Ripper placed him as a local man and Druitt lived several miles from the crime scenes. The timing Druitt chose for his death was the only clue the police had against him. It’s theorized that he was eliminated as a person of interest because his mother and an aunt experienced an underlying, hereditary mental illness.
He’s an okay suspect, but not who I would consider the top suspect.