Jack the Ripper: The unsolved mystery

Please enjoy this guest contribution from Aaron about the infamous Jack the Ripper.

Jack the Ripper terrorised the Whitechapel district in London’s East End during 1888. Since then, his name has been synonymous with terror and today he remains one of the World’s most infamous criminals and arguably the most famous serial killer in history.

Much is known about the Jack the Ripper murders and there are many conspiracy theories, but despite all of the books, movies and documentaries about him, there is still a lot of misguided conjecture and incorrect information out there.

Here are some interesting facts about the infamous Jack the Ripper and his murders that you may not have already known.

Three suspects

Of all the men that were suspected in the Ripper murders, only three of them were constantly observed. One suspect was Mr M.J. Druitt, a doctor that Sir Melville Macnaughten (the Assistant Crime Commissioner) described as being ‘sexually insane’ and it was said that his own family believed him to be the murderer.

The second suspect was a Polish man named Kosminski who was believed to have had a hate for women and prostitutes and possessed many strong circumstances that made him a suspect.

The final suspect was Michael Ostrog, a Russian doctor who was eventually locked in an insane asylum for his homicidal tendencies and whose location at the time of the murders could never be proven.


Police methods advanced

During the investigation of the Ripper murders, the Metropolitan police adopted new techniques in an attempt to catch him. A police surgeon named Thomas Bond was asked for his medical opinion on the murders and ultimately became the world’s first criminal profiler and it is from him that the image of a killer with medical knowledge and a grudge against prostitutes emerged.

The final murder investigation that involved Mary Kelly, one of the victims, was the first time that Scotland Yard had cordoned off a crime scene to prevent bystanders from tampering with evidence, hoping to take a souvenir for themselves. Kelly’s murder was also the first use of forensic photography to take pictures of the scene as well as her mutilated corpse. Although none of these methods were successful, they are still used today.

Professional in medical?

The precision with which Jack the Ripper thawed the bodies of his victims neatly and cleanly removed the internal body organs made many people believe that he had a strong background in medical science. Many medical professionals that inspected the corpses noted that the Ripper must have had a good understanding and knowledge of a medical field to do what he was doing.

The letters

Police and the media received over 700 pieces of correspondence claiming to be from ‘Jack the Ripper’ but only two are considered credible. The first letter to get attention was the famous ‘Dear Boss’ letter addressed to the Central News Agency. The letter threatened to clip the next victim’s ear off and was then carried out with the murder of Catherine Eddowes. Many suspected it was a newspaper man that wrote the latter but the true author is still not known.

Another letter that gained notoriety was one claiming to be ‘from hell’ and included in the letter was half a kidney which the author claimed came from a victim but it was impossible to medically conclude the victim at that time.

He had a plan

Jack the Ripper didn’t just kill at random, he had specific types. All of the five victims were approximately late 30s to 40s. He had a specific method of killing and he only ever struck on weekends and bank holidays. Obviously, the reason he is so well remembered, besides being caught, is the graphic nature of the wounds, they all has some kind of pelvic mutilation.

Two murders occurred at 1am and the others between 3am and 6am and victim 1 was found by people on their way to work. All of these things indicate that Jack the Ripper had employment.

More information and real life experience of the gruesome murders can be found on a London Jack the Ripper tour that brings the greatest mystery in the history of crime to life.

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