One day men will look back and say that I gave birth to the Twentieth Century.
Jack the Ripper - 1888
Jack the Ripper is a true story about what seems to be a demon from Hell coming out and then poof!!...vanish into thin air, never to be seen or heard from again. Many speculations arise on this crafty old (or young) Jack the Ripper. I will do my best to present all the facts on this page. Along with some speculations as to whom he may have done these foul deeds. Was he mad, well educated, royalty, poor, sport, fun, or just an average Joe who just flipped out one day to become the world's most infamous serial killer and left the world asking â€œWho did it?â€
There is one important fact that will be mentioned here first. Jack the Ripper was the first sex killer in the modern sense of the word. This is also pointed towards the rise in pornography in the early nineteenth century. However, Jack wasn't simply just an everyday killer, he was well calculated. That is what produced such panic and fear in the Whitechapel area of East London in the autumn of 1888.
It was dark on the morning of September 1, 1888 when a cart driver named George Cross walked down Bucks Row on his way to work. In the dim light Cross saw what seemed to be a bundle of tarpaulin. It was in fact a woman lying on her back with her skirt over her waist. Cross then decided that the woman may have been raped and left for dead. Cross left to call a policeman. The local patrol policeman, Police Constable John Neil, walked through the same alley way a few minutes after Cross had left. Mr. Neil had a lantern which revealed that the woman's throat had been cut so deeply that the vertebrae were exposed.
An hour later the body of the middle-aged woman lay in the yard of a local mortuary. Two paupers from a workhouse next door were given the job of stripping the remains while a police inspector observed and took notes. After pulling off the petticoats, the inspector saw the most unusual...the woman's abdomen had been slashed open with a jagged incision that ran from the bottom of the ribs to the pelvis.
The woman was later identified as Mary Ann Nicholls. She was a prostitute who had been living at a common lodging house in Thrawl Street - one of the worst slums even in that poverty stricken area. A few hours before her death she had went back to the lodging, drunk, and lacking the money needed for a bed. The keeper turned her away. She went looking for a man who would grant the money needed for the bed in exchange for the uncomfortable act of intercourse on the pavement of some back alley. The police surgeon inferred that the customer had strangled her into unconsciousness. Bruises on her neck supported this hypothesis. Next, Jack the Ripper had cut her throat with two extremely powerful slashes that had almost severed the head from the body (this is difficult to do and requires a very thorough cutting apparatus). Then he raised her skirt to stab and slash at her stomach region in a kind of frenzy.
The murdering of prostitutes was nothing of surprise. Numerous murders were committed right before this case. For that reason, there was little alarm to another prostitute being killed. This case wasn't published in any newspaper. But, this all changed when after eight days another woman was found murdered in the backyard of a barber's shop in Hanbury Street, Whitechapel. Prostitutes often frequented this place with their customers. However, at about 5:30 am on the morning of Saturday, September 8, 1888; a neighbor saw Annie Chapman talking to a dark-looking man of "foreign appearance", dressed in shabby genteel clothes and wearing a deerstalker hat. Half an hour later, John Davis saw the body of a woman lying against the fence with her above her waist and her legs bent at the knees. The stomach was cut open and some of the intestines were pulled out. The same as Mary Ann Nicholls, the cause of death was due to a deep gash in the throat. Jack the Ripper placed the woman's rings and some pennies at her feet along with a torn envelope near her head. Further medical examinations revealed that the killer removed the uterus and the upper part of the vagina.
On September 29, 1888, the Central News Agency received a letter which started: "Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they won't fix me just yet". It also stated: "I am down on whores and I shan't quit ripping them till I do get buckled" and promised: "You will soon hear of me with my funny little games". Signed "Jack the Ripper" - the first that this now well known name was to be used. The writer also requested: "Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight". The Central News Agency granted his request.
On that Saturday night, Jack the Ripper killed again - this time killing two prostitutes in a single night. At 1:00 am on Sunday morning Louis Diemschutz drove his pony and cart into the backyard of a club in Berner Street. Diemschutz found the body of a woman. The woman's throat had been cut. There had been an attempt to cut off her ear. After further investigation, she was identified as an alcoholic Swedish prostitute named Elizabeth Stride.
Jack the Ripper hadn't had the time to finish disemboweling Elizabeth. He ran up Berner Street in time to find Catherine Eddowes and lead her into Mitre Square, a small square surrounded by warehouses. The square was patrolled every fifteen minutes. When he passed at 1:30 am everything was normal. At 1:45 am he found the body of a woman lying on her back with her dress pushed up around her waist along with her face being slashed. She was gashed open from the base of the ribs to the pubic region, and the throat was cut. Further examination revealed that a kidney was missing and half of an ear was cut off.
The letter was finally released to the public. Early on Monday morning, Jack the Ripper sent another message to the Central News Agency - this time a postcard. It read: "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 took a break until the early hours of November 9th; this was to be his best. Mary Jeanette Kelly, a twenty-four year old Irish-woman living in a cheap room in Miller's Court, off Dorset Street. At about two o'clock that morning she was reportedly seen talking to a man with a heavy mustache, well dressed and had a gold watch chain. They entered the narrow alleyway that led to her room: room 13.
At 10:45 the next morning the rent collector came to collect rent but found something more gruesome. The body lay on the bed, with mutilations so time consuming they must have taken an hour or more. One of her hands was found in her stomach. The head and left arm had been virtually removed to the point where they dangled on by a peace of skin. The breasts and nose had been removed while the skin from the legs were stripped off. The heart was laying on a pillow beside the victim and the intestines were draped around a picture. Further analysis concluded that Jack the Ripper had not taken away any of the organs from the victim unlike previous occurrences.