Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jack the Ripper

Are you up for another unsolved mystery?  I've got a whopper for you this time!  A figure that instills fear by name alone - Jack the Ripper.

For as much publicity as his story has gotten, very little is actually known of Jack the Ripper.  He was never captured, so no one knows what he looked like.  He lived and killed during a time when murders were on the rise.  A lot of those murders were extremely violent and seemingly unconnected, so we don't even know how many people Jack the Ripper really killed.  In fact, there are so many theories about who this man was that there is a term given to the study of related cases - "ripperology."

Between April 3, 1888 and February 13, 1891, eleven murders were reported in and around Whitechapel, the town in London where Jack the Ripper's victims were found.  Of these eleven cases, five victims are thought to be those of Jack the Ripper.  The things each of these victims had in common were slashed throats, abdominal/genital mutilation, missing internal organs, facial mutilation, and they were prostitutes.

Though the man that committed these dastardly deeds was never captured, an investigation was conducted.  As per the method of the times, policemen went door-to-door to question people.  It has been said that over 2000 people were interviewed, about 300 people were investigated, and 80 people were arrested.  Just like with many other historical outbreaks of hysteria, certain sorts of people were targeted more than others.  With the case of Jack the Ripper, butchers, slaughterers, surgeons and physicians were under heavy scrutiny because of the condition of the suspected victims.  Other speculations were that the killer lived close by (because of the location of the bodies) and that he was a member of the upper-class (because of his possible attire as per some witnesses).


  1. So creepy. Jack the Ripper - CSI style psycho. I wonder if he knew how glorified his acts of violence would be 100+ years later? I shudder to think.

    1. You never know, with the surgical precision he showed, maybe he thought of it as art....Gross!