What motivates a person to murder defenseless people? Moreover, what makes them think they can get away with it? Some murders become so legendary that they live on in the public's imagination for years. These actions inspired books, films, and theatre and even copycats, killers. Jack the Ripper is the most famous serial killer in history. In 1888 the East end of London was haunted by this notorious butcher, over a period of three months six women were slaughtered and mutilated around the white chapel district but the perpetrator was never caught. Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of east end dismembering prostitutes, his identity has been a mystery ever since.
For more than a century of searching for the evidence of the notorious murderer the solution was no nearer to be found and Jack the Ripper will probably never be identified. It is quite confident that if the killer was to be seen, he has to be hidden among the ordinary men dwelling in Whitechapel. He had to be anonymous, unremarkable local man, he had intimate knowledge of that area not only to identify where he will locate his victims but also very easy for him to escape. His profile is that of a person who had reason to be out at that time, he most probably had a troubled background and was in the late 30s or early 40s (Robbins).
Jack the Ripper's Victims
In the early hour of the morning of April 3, 1888, a 45-year-old prostitute named Emma Smith was walking through the streets of Whitechapel when she was savagely attacked, her assault was the opening chapter of the Jack the Ripper's mystery. It is unlikely for a serial killer to start with murder, they begin with something less and then proceed to more savagely actions. The east end was very deprived and occasional violence was very evident notably the murder of women. The one main thing that stacks out in the victims was the fact that they were all forced to live or kicked out of their family homes and living as prostitutes and they were all addicted to alcohol (PhatDriver).
August 7, 1888, Martha Tabram's body was found at around 4.45am lying in a pool of blood; she has stabbed nearly forty times all wounds while she was alive. Both women deaths were not included in the canonical five; however, there were similarities of both case with the way the murders were conducted and the geographical proximity. August 31, 1988, Mary Ann Nichols body was discovered at 3.40am in the morning, her throat slit twice and her lower body parts of the abdomen ripped partly open and several other incisions. The murder of Nichols opened changed the narrative from that of gang-related crimes to that of a murderer at large. Jack the Ripper was acting spontaneously and very quickly, he strangled his victims from the front causing blood pressure to fall and making sure that there was limited blood splash when lowering them into the ground, quickly cut their throat twice to ensure their silence. The mutilations of the victims were performed as a post-mortem. Today Jack the Ripper would label as a psychotic serial killer (Sherman).
The rest of the canonical five were Annie Chapman murdered on September 8th near a doorway backyard. Elizabeth Stride was killed on 30th September although her body was not mutilated, according to a witness account, the murderer was interrupted which made his kill Catherine Eddowes the same night and after that performing his mutilation on her body. Strides and Eddowes murders were to be later known as the "double event." Mary Jane Kelly was the last of the significant killing spree who was discovered lying on the bed of her single room; her mutilation was so severe that nearly every part of her body was ripped off. The murder's mutilation became severe as he proceeded.
Jack the Ripper Suspects
He is the most significant mystery in the history of British crime; it is not convincing enough that a man who killed more than six women in the face of a massive manhunt, a media storm and increasing political outrage could escape could escape detection. Ever since many suspects have emerged, in the 1960s a lawyer named Montague John Druitt was suggested because his suicide coincides with the end of the Ripper's killing spree. However, the only thing that seems to link Druitt with the murders is his coincidental suicide after the murder of Mary. According to the letter found written by him his suicide was as a result of his dismissal on 30th November where he was working as a schoolmaster, he was carrying out his usual chaos even after the last Ripper's murder which makes him a less likely victim. In the 1970s, the Duke of Clarence, Prince Albert and his surgeon Sir William Withey Gull to hide the identity of a pregnant mistress attributed the murders to the elaborate plot (Brandreth ). None of the accusations against him came while he was alive, they emerged among conspiracy theorist in 1962, the theory is debunked by the fact that Prince Albert may not have been in London by the time of the murders. In the 1990s, American quack doctor Francis Tumblety came under suspicion because it was alleged he kept a collection of female body parts. However, it is very unusual for homosexual serial killers to kill women their victims tends to be other homosexuals. Another fact is that his appearance did not match any of the eyewitness descriptions and that he was relatively tall and his outrageous mustache would have made him a conspicuous individual easy to identify.
George Chapman became a suspect after he poisoned three of his wives in 1903, during the Ripper's murders he was working as a barber in Whitechapel. However, his tactic of killing his wives was poisoning rather than butchering which dismisses him as a suspect. Dr. Thomas Neill Cream became one of the suspects later after his death due to his involvement with the illegal abortion of local prostitutes, which resulted in a couple of death. However, it is believed that during the Whitechapel murder he was jailed at a prison in Chicago (The Horror Vault). Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was accused based on his anagrams he presented in his book "Alice in Wonderland" which revealed that the book was his hidden confessions of the author's life of crime in Whitechapel. However, this theory is flawed in that one could, in fact, rearrange the words in any form and make half-connected sentences to almost anything.
D'Onston Stephenson association with the murders himself by being the first Ripperologist by attempting to put theories forward as for why the Ripper killed and who he was. This was sufficient to draw attention to him due to the accuracy of his reporting. However there is not a direct linkage between him and the murders and as a journalist, he would have managed to gain adequate knowledge about the Ripper in Whitechapel. Hyam Hyams was placed as a suspect due to his violent behavior and his mental instability and several attacks on his family members; he was admitted to a psychiatric asylum several times. However, there are not much of evidence to connect him to the ripper's murder although he well fitted the description of the killings (Vanderlinden).
Joseph Barnett is by far the most likely suspect in the list. His psychological profile well fits that of the ripper. He was 30 years of age who had lived in Whitechapel his entire life and had good knowledge of the area; he was a fisherman with experience in boning and gutting fish. He stopped his murder after the killing of Mary Kelly since he was close to being discovered, and he had echolalia which made him reiterate the most recent vocabulary verbal to him. Evidence linking him to the murders was his physical description tallied very well with some witness description (5'7", age 30, medium build, fair facial appearance and charisma of a mustache). His linkage to Mary explains why the murders stopped after her assassinate. Ginger alcoholic drink bottles set up in 13 miller's court on November 9th by the police can be linked to the "Dear Boss" letter where the author says that he had saved a quantity of appropriate scarlet substance in a ginger beer bottle over the final work (Morro). Kelly's entry was locked indicating that the assassin must either have had the key in or reached out throughout the windowpane and closed, suggesting that he had the key or had good knowledge of the geography of the room.
The motif of the killer was that of a lover who was exhausted of Mary Kelly prostituting herself to other men to support herself. He was so in feel affection for with Kelly that he believes he may possibly help her through his work however when he lost his job he became so frustrated that he resulted to killing prostitutes to scare her off the streets. His plans did not succeed, and his temper boiled up in late October when they had an intense argument with Kelly perhaps by realizing his love for Kelly was not wholly requited. He finally murdered her a week later completely mutilating her body in the most gruesome way possible.
Brandreth, G. The mystery of Jack the Ripper solved: not one killer but two. 2017. 2018 <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/mystery-jack-ripper-solved-not-one-killer-two/>.
Burgan, Michael. Jack the Ripper. Simon and Schuster, 2017.
Morro, Scott. Joe Barnett...Jack the Ripper...Not One in the Same. 2010. 18 February 2018 <http://www.casebook.org/dissertations/dst-barn.html>.
Nevala, Minna. ". The public identity of Jack the Ripper in late nineteenth-century British newspapers." Diachronic Developments in English News Discourse 6 (2017): 199.
PhatDriver.  Murder Casebook S03E01 Jack the Ripper. May 2015. 18 2 2018 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2-JFnlYTj8>.
Robbins, Jessie. 4 Possible Theories on Jack the Ripper's Identity. 23 March 2017. 18 February 2018 <http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2017/03/23/4-possible-theories-of-jack-the-rippers-identity/>.
Roland, Paul. The Crimes of Jack the Ripper. Arcturus Publishing, 2017.
Sherman, Elisabeth. The Forgotten Lives Of Jack The Ripper's Victims. 21 November 2017. 18 February 2018 <http://allthatsinteresting.com/jack-the-rippers-victims>.
The Horror Vault. Jack the Ripper - Te Definitive Story. 1 April 2017. 18 February 2018 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsO7n_rrxSA>.
Vanderlinden, Wolf. Hyam Hyams: Portrait of a Suspect. n.d. 18 February 2018 <http://www.casebook.org/dissertations/rn-hyam-hyams.html>.
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