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Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper

This article should be considered 15+

Jack the Ripper is a legend, but is entirely true, it is just that we don’t know who he was. Jack the Ripper is the name that has been given to an unidentified serial killer who murdered several women in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888. The name was given after the police received a letter from a man named Jack who claimed to be the murderer. However the chances are that the letter was a fake and was created by the media in order to fill more news.

The murderer would typically kill female sex workers in the Whitechapel area, cutting their throat before he then removed their internal organs and sent them neatly wrapped to the police. The twisted killer removed the organs with such precision that he was thought to be a trained surgeon. Although there was no conclusive proof that the murders were connected, it seemed likely the work of one man because of the similarity of the murders and the clean and precise nature of the organ removal. Furthermore, letters from the murderer or potentially murderers were received by newspapers and police headquarters, Scotland Yard. A Whitechapel vigilance committee member named George Lusk received one such letter which included half of a preserved human kidney, supposedly from one of the victims. With the amount of media surrounding the case and the name Jack on one of the letters the apparent serial killer became known as "Jack the Ripper".

In the history of serial killers more have been recorded in recent years with the enhanced use of media and a larger police force. Therefore in 1888 this story was a great shock and was covered extensively by the media, turning Jack the Ripper into a legend. There were some 11 brutal killings in Whitechapel three years later in 1891 though they were never connected to that of the original killer as they were less precise and more brutal. Perhaps it was the work of someone trying to imitate the killer of 1888, either way neither was found. The five victims murdered between 31 August and 9 November 1888 are known as the "canonical five" and are most likely of all the murders to have been conducted by the same man due to their similarity. Due to the fact that the murders were never solved Jack the Ripper has become a great mystery and thus gained far greater fame perhaps than some worse cases in terms of the number of people killed. The term "ripperology" was even created to describe the study of the murders. Indeed there are now over one hundred different theories as to the murderer’s identity. Ultimately we cannot know if any are correct, the murderer will now be long dead and has taken his secret to the grave with him.

What’s your opinion on this story? Do you think Jack the ripper was looking for a particular person or was he just sadistic? Perhaps he was a fired surgeon and went rogue? There have been so many theories over the years, that’s the great thing about mystery, and we’d love to hear some of yours!



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