Updated on June 29, 2021
Jack the Ripper?
Who Was Jack the Ripper?
Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer who was active in the mostly poor areas in and around London’s Whitechapel neighborhood in late 1888. In both modern day accounts and the official criminal case files, the serial killer was sometimes referred to as the “Whitechapel Killer.” The name of the serial killer came from the places where he committed his crimes notably the Leather Aprons and the Whitechapel Tower. The killer has never been caught and despite the fact that there are a few suspects and many clues leading to his capture, no solid evidence linking him to any crimes has ever been found.
Several theories have been advanced to explain the origin of the notorious serial killer. The most prevalent theory to be believed so far is that he is either a product of a genetically inherited abnormality or he is an offspring of another killer who also had a genetic abnormality. There are also cases wherein the victims were attacked by the same person. If DNA testing is to be conducted to confirm if a link is indeed exists between a suspect and a certain crime, this is when the use of genetic analysis can be used. Specifically, forensic scientists use the results of a genetic test to examine the DNA and other traits of a person in order to uncover possible connections to a crime.
The first known attack by the “Ripper” was on the evening of August 1st, 1888. Witnesses reported that a man in a white suit approached three women on a dark street in the vicinity of Noakes Street, London and stabbed them with a knife. None of the victims suffered physical injuries, but one woman, named Lucy West, claimed that she managed to identify the man as the serial killer after seeing him approach two other women the next day. He was eventually identified as Jack the Ripper.
In the early hours of August 3rd, a passerby reported seeing a body lying on the pavement, which aroused the curiosity of a passerby named Markham. He took the body away to the local morgue, where it was identified as that of the serial killer. A post mortem was conducted and the official identity of the victim was revealed. Several strands of hair were recovered from the neck region of the victim matching those of the Ripper. Several suspects were questioned, but none of them were ruled out. On August 6th, a shower of eggs was found near the scene of the murders and the police were informed.
Jack was finally tracked down and arrested following a massive search of the city. He was taken to Woolstone prison in London, where he awaited execution. There he met with an unknown female associate who offered to help him in exchange for information leading to his capture of the remaining suspects in the murders committed by Jack the Ripper. This woman was nicknamed “The White Lady”.
The White Lady worked with several other escape artists to help police officers in their search for the remaining unidentified victims of the Ripper. Two of these accomplices were positively identified as the actual killers of the Jack the Ripper. Police detectives Mary Quant and Kate Moss managed to solve the crime by tracking one of the escapees, who was caught and returned to Scotland Yard. At this point in time several theories arose as to the identity of the elusive Jack the Ripper.
Police Detective Sergeant James Cook and his partner Officer Frederick Price were assigned to the case after a referral from the coroner’s office. Detectives Cook and Price theorized that the Ripper had been a serial killer and that he may have killed two or three women in September or October, which would mark a gap of thirteen months between when he died and the discovery of his body. The police detectives theorized that the Ripper had two victims, and the first victim possibly died as a result of drowning, while the second victim may have been killed at the same time as the White Lady. The identities of the police detectives were kept secret at first, but the identities of the suspects were exposed when one of the female victims gave birth to twins in November. In the meantime however, Kate Moss continued to work on the Jack the Ripper investigation, uncovering a string of gruesome murders, which were believed to have been committed by the Ripper after he went on a six month kill spree in October and November of 1888.
Police Captain Richard Bracknell and Detectives Johnstone and Roberts were brought in to assist the London police with their inquiries. The detectives used historical documents to piece together a pattern of crimes which they hoped would connect Jack the Ripper to. Although the results of the investigation failed to uncover conclusive evidence linking the serial killer to any specific group or clan, the detectives believed that they had uncovered a possible link to the Ripper.