Jack the Ripper Biography

Jack the Ripper was the name given to an unidentified serial killer active in London during the late 19th century. This biography of Jack the Ripper provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline

Quick Facts

Nationality: British

Famous: Murderers Serial Killers

Also Known As: The Whitechapel Murderer, Leather Apron

Famous as: Serial Killer

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Jack the Ripper was the name given to an unidentified serial killer active in London during the late 19th century. He is believed to have killed at least five women who were working as prostitutes in an impoverished area in London though the actual count of his victims may be higher. The legend of Jack the Ripper is one of the most enduring murder mysteries of all time especially because the real identity of the killer was never discovered. All the victims targeted by the killer were poor prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of London. The bodies of most of the women were found with the throat slit and the abdominal area mutilated. The gruesome nature of the murders terrified the people, and the fact that the murderer was a serial killer likely to strike again further horrified the citizens of London. The police too was baffled by the murders as they could find no definite clue leading to the identity of the murderer even though they managed to prepare a list of the suspects. The identity of the killer puzzled detectives for well over a century. In recent years it has been suggested by some sources that Jack the Ripper was a 23-year-old Polish immigrant called Aaron Kosminski.

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Jack the Ripper
Major Crimes
  • Jack the Ripper is believed to have murdered at least five women—all of them prostitutes—in an impoverished region of London. In the early morning of 31 August 1888, the body of a middle-aged prostitute named Mary Ann Nichols was found lying on the ground in the Whitechapel area of London by a cart driver.
  • Mary Ann’s throat had been slit and her abdomen had been ripped open by a deep, jagged wound. There were also other injury marks on her body, all caused by a sharp knife. The discovery of this body shocked the residents of Whitechapel even though violent crime was not a rarity in that area.
  • Another shock awaited the citizens of London on the morning of 8 September 1888. Annie Chapman, a 47 year old prostitute, was found dead near a doorway in the Whitechapel area. Her body too bore similar injuries as in the case of Mary Ann. Chapman’s throat had been slit and her abdomen slashed open and her uterus removed.
  • On 30 September 1888, the body of Elizabeth "Long Liz" Stride was found by a cart driver at around 1 a.m. Blood was still flowing from a cut in her neck, suggesting that she had been freshly killed. The same day, the body of another woman, Catherine "Kate" Eddowes, was also found. Her throat had been slashed and her body mutilated.
  • The discovery of two bodies in a single day set off a panic wave in Whitechapel as the residents realized that the killer was getting more sadistic than before. The murders of both Stride and Eddowes were attributed to the same killer who was believed to have murdered Nichols and Chapman.
  • On 1 October 1888, the Central News Agency received a postcard signed “Jack the Ripper”. The writer claimed responsibility for Stride's and Eddowes's murders. A few days later, on 16 October, the Chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee received a parcel containing half a human kidney along with a note that claimed that the writer had eaten the missing kidney half. These letters, along with hundreds of others received by the police and the newspapers created considerable sensation.
  • The body of another woman was discovered in her room on 9 November 1888. Mary Jane Kelly’s body was found in a state of undress and severely mutilated. Her throat had been slit and her abdomen ripped open. Several of her internal organs had been taken out, and her heart was also missing. This murder too was believed to have been committed by the serial killer now dubbed Jack the Ripper.
  • Several weeks went by and no other gruesome murder was reported where the victim had been killed in the same fashion as these five women. Kelly is widely believed to be the final victim of Jack the Ripper.
  • Along with the murder of these five women, six other murders, those of Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, Rose Mylett, Alice McKenzie, Frances Coles, and an unidentified woman were also linked with Jack the Ripper though not conclusively.
  • The police interviewed more than 2000 people and several suspects were named. Since the killer seemed to have a certain degree of anatomical knowledge, several butchers, slaughterers, and physicians fell under the purview of suspicion. The fact that none of the women were sexually assaulted gave rise to the speculation that the killer might have been a woman.
  • More than 100 people have been named as Jack the Ripper suspects. Some of the strong suspects were Montague John Druitt, Seweryn Antonowicz Kłosowski, Aaron Kosminski, Michael Ostrog, and Francis Tumblety.
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Legacy
  • The fact that the identity of Jack the Ripper was never discovered made his case one of the most enduring murder mysteries in the history of crime. The killer has featured in hundreds of works of fiction including novels, stories, video games, plays, operas, television programs, and films. The case has also inspired several works of non-fiction, making it one of the most written-about true-crime subjects
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Jack the Ripper Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/jack-the-ripper-6372.php
Last Updated
- July 21, 2017

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