During the period starting from April 1888 to Feb 1891 eleven prostitutes were murdered at Whitechapel district of London. Five out of eleven murders were acclaimed to have been undertaken by an unidentified serial killer, later named as “Jack the ripper”.
The Victims and their Killings
The Victims of the serial killer were Mary Ann Nicholas, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly. The murders were generally pulled off at the darkest hours of the day i.e. either close to weekends or months. As the murders proceeded, the mutilations turned so severe that few victims were found with missing organs and their genitals brutally annihilated.
The Murder Scenes of The Canonical Five
- Mary Ann Nicholas, the first victim’s body was descried on Friday, 31.08.1888 at around 3.40 am. The throat had two cuts and the lower part of the abdomen was ripped by a knife.
- Chapman, the next victim’s body was found at 6.00am on 8.09.18888. Victim again had two cuts on the throat and had her genitals removed with the abdomen gashed in totality.
- Stride’s body was discovered at about 1.00 am in Dutfield’s yard. Stride’s body had one cut on the main artery on the left side of the neck. This created apprehensions as to whether the crime can be added to Jack the Ripper’s murder list or whether he was intruded during the murdering act.
- Eddowes body again had similar wounds and the patterns of attack pointed towards the work of Jack the ripper.
- Kelly’s mutilated body was discovered in her room, at around 10.45 am. The cut ran from the throat down to the spine and the abdomen was brutally ripped with its organs almost lying outside the abdomen.
Another aspect that flabbergasted the investigation team and the folks were the letters received by the authorities from the killer. The press release of certain letters created a knot in the investigation process. It was then believed by the Police officials that it was a hoax letter by a journalist.
The Wrong Arrest
During this time, the police inquiries from the prostitues brought into light “Leather Apron” man as their suspect. According to the sources, this man ran an extortion racket against them. Soon, the Leather Apron Man got arrested. However, he provided alibis of his whereabouts. On further delve, it was found that the handcuffed Leather Apron Man was not involved in the crime and was set free.
The investigation of almost 125 years old case
The 125 years old nom de guerre “Jack the ripper” case still remains a riddle that seeks the answer for the killer’s name. John Douglas of the FBI developed a detailed criminal profile stating the criminal as a “Loner” who conjured of dominating and mutilating women. Douglas a prominent criminal officer developed a seven long page profile of “Jack the Ripper’s” physical and psychological characteristics.
Jack was observed to be an unmarried male between the age of 28 to 36 who did not look unusual. The cold blooded murderer was presumed to be raised by a dominating mother and a weak father or an absence of a fatherly figure. He also went on, to further observe that his mother would be a heavy drinker and had relations with multiple men. The presence of such traits in her mother made prostitutes as his victims. Looking at the expertise of the wounds and cuts, he went on to classify Jack as either as a butcher, mortician’s helper, medical assistant, or a hospital attendant. Further, a fuel to the fire of hatred could have been added because of contraction of any fatal illness due to his relations with these women.
Investigations further unveiled that the victim were not sexually assaulted prior to the horrendous crime. Mutilations of the genital parts of the victim could be an indication of his fantasies of domination and cruelty being fulfilled through such acts.
In spite of numerous theories, rumors and absence of any de facto evidences the case of Jack the Ripper still remains a mystery.