Mystery Surrounding Jack the Ripper

4135 Words17 Pages
In August 1888, the Whitechapel neighborhood of London first became aware of a monster in its midst. Whitechapel is known to have been home to the most severely unfortunate of souls, the poorest of the poor, prostitutes, the mentally ill, and alcoholics. Prostitutes turned tricks to earn their doss money (money required for a night’s lodging), often, only to spend it on drink instead. Most Whitechapel residents were physically unwell, either from poor nutrition, lack of medical care, filthy living conditions, sexually transmitted diseases, or any number of other factors, that in such conditions, contributed to an unhealthy community. Jack the Ripper, as he is still known today, preyed on these ill fated misfortunates as they went about earning their living in the only manner they knew. His victims: Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, Annie Chapman (Dark Annie), Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly occupied the lowest rung of Victorian society. The Ripper himself may well have been one of Whitechapel’s own; or, based on what little evidence the police managed to gather, he could just as easily be a Gentleman of high society. Speculation and theories abound as to the identity of this brutal butcher; but it seems that no one will ever be able to speak the name of the Ripper with any measure of certitude. Jack the Ripper On August 31, 1888, at 3:40 am the body of 42-year old Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols was discovered on a street called Buck’s Row. She had last been seen alive at approximately 2:30 am walking in the direction of Buck’s Row and drunkenly proclaiming that she had earned her doss money three times that night, but had spent it and was out to earn it again (Whitechapel Road). Polly was 5’2’’ tall with brown gra... ... middle of paper ... ...titutes o was in London at the time of the murders o had anatomical knowledge o had a collection of wombs in jars o no more murders after he left England on November 24, 1888 o had the wealth necessary to change his clothes frequently o had a tendency toward violence o several acquaintances in America believed he was likely the Ripper These are but two from a long list that exists of Ripper suspects. Hundreds have at one time or another been alleged to be Jack the Ripper. Friends and acquaintances have debated the case for over a century. A renowned crime author has conducted her own investigation and has come to her own controversial conclusion about Jack. There have been movies made and board games created that revolve around Jack the Ripper. It seems that we will never know the truth of the Ripper’s identity, but in reality, do we really want to know?
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