Jack the Ripper

The World's Most Famous Unknown Killer

Who Is Jack the Ripper?

Known for committing gruesome murders from August 7 to September 10 in 1888, "Jack the Ripper"—a moniker for the notorious serial killer, who was never identified—remains one of England's, and the world's, most infamous criminals.
Who Was Jack The Ripper?

A Royal Conspiracy?

Several people have been pointed the finger of blame at, including Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward. Some still believe the reason that Jack the Ripper was never discovered is because there was a grand conspiracy to protect the Prince from ever being found as the killer.

Jack's London

In the late 1800s, London's East End was a place that was viewed by citizens with either compassion or utter contempt. Despite being an area where skilled immigrants, mainly Jews and Russians, came to start a new life and start businesses, the district was notorious for squalor, violence and crime. Prostitution was only illegal if the practice caused a public disturbance, and thousands of brothels and low-rent lodging houses provided sexual services during the late 19th century. At that time, the death or murder of a working girl was rarely reported in the press or discussed within polite society. The reality was that "ladies of the night" were subject to physical attacks, which sometimes resulted in death. Among these common violent crimes was the attack of English prostitute Emma Smith, who was beaten and raped with an object by four men. Smith, who later died of peritonitis, is remembered as one of many unfortunate female victims who were killed by gangs demanding protection money.

However, the series of killings that began in August 1888 stood out from other violent crime of the time: They were marked by sadistic butchery, suggesting a mind more sociopathic and hateful than most citizens could comprehend. Jack the Ripper didn't just snuff out life with a knife, he mutilated and humiliated women, and his crimes seemed to portray an abhorrance for the entire female gender.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Jack The Ripper

What He Did

From August 7 to September 10 in 1888, "Jack the Ripper" terrorized the Whitechapel district in London's East End. He killed at least five prostitutes and mutilated their bodies in an unusual manner, indicating that the killer had a knowledge of human anatomy. The culprit responsible for the murders of five prostitutes—all took place within a mile of each other, and involved the districts of Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Aldgate and the City of London—in London's East End in the autumn of 1888 was never apprehended. Despite countless investigations claiming definitive evidence of the brutal killer's identity, his name and motive are still unknown. The moniker "Jack the Ripper" originates from a letter written by someone who claimed to be the Whitechapel butcher, published at the time of the attacks.

Adding to the mystery of the affair is the fact that several letters were sent by the killer to the London Metropolitan Police Service, also known as the Scotland Yard, taunting officers about his gruesome activities and speculating on murders to come. Various theories about Jack the Ripper's identity have been produced over the past several decades, which include claims accusing the famous Victorian painter Walter Sickert, a Polish migrant and even the grandson of Queen Victoria.

Legendary Mystery Solved! 'Jack the Ripper' Identified As 'Aaron Kosminski'

Jack the Ripper: Discovered?

In 2014, Russell Edwards, an author and amateur sleuth claimed that he has proven the identity of Jack the Ripper by DNA results obtained from a shawl belonging to one of the victims, Catherine Eddowes. The reports have yet to be verified, but Edwards asserts they point to Aaron Kosminkski, a Polish immigrant and one of the prime suspects in the grisly murders. However, forensic scientists and investigators now say that the evidence was "fatally flawed"

Random Fun Facts About the Case

  • At the time the Ripper was slitting the throat of his first victim, Commissioner Warren was vacationing in France.
  • Also, on the day the killer claimed his second victim, Warren's assistant commissioner, Robert Anderson, left to convalesce in Europe and did not return until after the Ripper had murdered and horribly mutilated his fourth of five female victims, all impoverished prostitutes.
  • One of the greatest blunders of the case was Commissioner Warren's erasure of what was probably the Ripper's handwriting on a passage wall. Thus went unphotographed the sole handwriting example that might have determined the genuineness of letters in police possession purporting to be from the killer.
  • Mary Jane Kelley, his final victim, was the only one murdered indoors. She was disemboweled inside of her room
  • Jack the Ripper allegedly sent half a kidney through the Lusk letter (more widely known as the "From Hell" letter) saying "I send you half the kidney I took from one women preserved it for you the other piece I fried and ate it was very nice."
  • With what was observed from all the five murders attributed to Jack the Ripper, it is clear that he suffered from incurable mental disorders. Although psychologists cannot claim anything about a man they never met, they still assume that he hated women and thought them lowly, and worthless. The extent of this hatred was beyond limits and this is the reason why he distorted their faces in an effort to destroy their identities.