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Jack the Ripper Overview

by Fred Lester


In the year 1888, a mysterious, cold-blooded serial killer captivated the attention of Londoners during his year-long killing spree. This is the story of "Jack the Ripper", a man who Scotland Yard never identified – never could identify, and his five female victims.

Mary Ann Nichols [Polly] - 31st August 1888

Mary Ann Nichols [Polly] - 31st August 1888

by Fred Lester

Mary Ann Nichols, or 'Polly', was the first of the Whitechapel murders attributed to the violent, horrific, unidentified killer known as Jack the Ripper. Her life is relatively well-documented, perhaps due to her status as an inmate of various 'workhouses', which were places of refuge for the most poor and destitute.

Annie Chapman - 8th September 1888

Annie Chapman - 8th September 1888

by Fred Lester

'Dark Annie', as she was often called, was the second victim in the series of five murders of prostitutes in Whitechapel, a district of London. Her full name was Eliza Ann Smith, but she was also known as Annie Chapman. She was the mother of three children.

Elizabeth Stride - 30th September 1888

Elizabeth Stride - 30th September 1888

by Fred Lester

Jack the Ripper's third victim was Elizabeth Stride, a Swedish-born immigrant to England. Elizabeth's story is unusual, not just because of her country of birth but because she took to prostitution at a much younger age than her killer's other victims. By the time she was murdered, she had likely been a prostitute for more than 20 years.

Catherine Eddowes - 30th September 1888

Catherine Eddowes - 30th September 1888

by Fred Lester

Catherine Eddowes is well-known for being the second victim in the "double event" during the Jack the Ripper killing spree. She was the second woman killed on September 30, 1888 in the notorious Whitechapel district of London.

Mary Jane Kelly - 9th November, 1888

Mary Jane Kelly - 9th November, 1888

by Fred Lester

Mary Jane Kelly holds the distinction of being the last official victim of Jack the Ripper. She was the only member of the "Canonical Five", a group of five women whose murders are attributed to Jack the Ripper, to be killed at her place of residence.

Canonical Five Victims updated

Canonical Five Victims updated

by Fred Lester

Mary Ann Nichols, or "Polly", was the first of the Whitechapel murders attributed to the violent, horrific, unidentified killer known as Jack the Ripper. Her life is relatively well-documented, perhaps due to her status as an inmate of various "workhouses".

Aaron Kosminski

Aaron Kosminski

by Fred Lester

In the past 125 years, there have been more than 100 names mentioned as possible suspects - 100 different names that have been accused, at some point or another, of committing the heinous crimes of Jack the Ripper.

George Chapman

George Chapman

by Fred Lester

Among the dozens of potential Jack the Ripper suspects exists a serial killer, George Chapman. He was born Severin Antoniovich Klosowski in 1865, though he changed his name after immigrating to England from his native Poland.

James Maybrick

James Maybrick

by Fred Lester

The true identity of Jack the Ripper, the cold-blooded killer who mutilated five women in 1888, has never been proven. Despite this, names are continually tossed around, debated, explored and investigated. Accusations that the killer was an immigrant, a member of the royal family, or a wealthy merchant using his position to exploit the poor have run rampant for more than 120 years.

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll

by Fred Lester

After his death in 1898, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, more famous for his pen name "Lewis Carroll", became the subject of a rumour that he was the mysterious and violent killer known as "Jack the Ripper".

Montague John Druitt

Montague John Druitt

by Fred Lester

Montague John Druitt, an upper-class, English-born schoolteacher and barrister, committed suicide only a few short months after the last Jack the Ripper victim was killed. Montague was the third child born to his parents, and while he lived a comfortable life, he did not inherit much money from his father's estate.

Prince Albert Victor

Prince Albert Victor

by Fred Lester

Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward, or "Eddy", lived from 8 January 1864 - 14 January 1892. He was born in Frogmore, Windsor, Berkshire, and was an heir to the throne of Britain. He would have become king had he outlived his father and grandmother. His father was the Prince of Wales and later became King Edward VII.

Robert Mann

Robert Mann

by Fred Lester

The Jack the Ripper murders have continued to pique public interest, even more than 100 years after the killings. The U.S. FBI completed a comprehensive psychological profile on the killer in 1988, which used modern agency tactics, and determined that we can be reasonably sure that the killer fit the following description:

Sir William Gull

Sir William Gull

by Fred Lester

Sir William Gull, who lived from 31st December 1816 - 29th January 1890, is an unlikely suspect for the Jack the Ripper killings, but his name has been suggested nonetheless. Sir William was a prominent 19th century physician, had links to the Royal Family and died within a year and a half of the last murders.

Thomas Haynes Cutbush

Thomas Haynes Cutbush

by Fred Lester

Thomas Haynes Cutbush's name has been mentioned as a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders since 1894, when the Sun newspaper announced that he was the killer. Despite the fact that the newspaper was certain of his guilt, experts have had more than 125 years to study the evidence.

Thomas Neil Cream

Thomas Neil Cream

by Fred Lester

Since the first recorded murder, over 200 people have been accused of being the famous London serial killer, Jack The Ripper. Evidence is fleeting and there hasn't been enough over the years to really find an accurate answer.

Walter Sickert

Walter Sickert

by Fred Lester

Jack The Ripper - most know his name but even to this day, no one really knows the man's true identity. There have been hundreds of theories written on who the famed murderer was, but none have been proven to be true.

Francis Thompson

Francis Thompson

by Fred Lester

Poet Francis Thompson is Jack the Ripper. Thompson was born in December 1859 and died in November 1907. Richard Patterson has spent 20 years investigating Jack The Ripper.

Michael Ostrog

Michael Ostrog

by Fred Lester

Michael Ostrog was one of three suspects named by Macnaghten as the most likely murderer. Michael Ostrog was born in Russia and was known to be a thief and confidence trickster. He lived in England for many years.

Jack the Ripper - the Dear Boss letter

Jack the Ripper - the Dear Boss letter

by Fred Lester

The "Dear Boss" letter, anonymously sent to the London Central News Office, is a letter supposedly sent by "Jack the Ripper", serial killer, who was responsible for the 1888 Whitechapel murders. The authenticity of the letter has been in doubt since its receipt, as is the case with much of the evidence associated with the murders. The letter was received on 27th September 1888.

Metropolitan Police Suspects

Metropolitan Police Suspects

by Fred Lester

The Metropolitan Police only have four viable suspects in the Jack The Ripper case. The four suspects have been 'nominated by contemporary police officers'.

Detective Inspector Edmund Reid

Detective Inspector Edmund Reid

by Fred Lester

Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, born 1846 in Canterbury, Kent, was an eccentric character, not only because of his involvement in the still unsolved Jack the Ripper case. He was remarkably short, measuring only 5'6" tall and he was interested in balloon flight.

Constable PC 55H Jonas Mizen

Constable PC 55H Jonas Mizen

by Fred Lester

Constable PC 55H Jonas Mizen from Division H was one of the first to arrive on the scene after the murder of Mary Ann Nichols in the early hours of 31st August 1888. Jonas Mizen arrived on the scene to find PC John Neil with the body of Mary Ann Nichols.

Inspector Joseph Chandler

Inspector Joseph Chandler

by Fred Lester

Joseph Chandler was born in 1850 and died in 1923. Joseph was born in Northill, Bedfordshire. Joseph married Martha Harris in 1874 and they went on to have five children - four boys and 1 girl.

Constable William Smith

Constable William Smith

by Fred Lester

Police Constable William Smith arrived on the scene of 40 Berner Street at around 1am on the morning of 30th September 1888. He found Elizabeth Stride's throat had been slashed.

Constable Edward Watkins

Constable Edward Watkins

by Fred Lester

Constable Edward Watkins found the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes in Mitre Square on September 30th, 1888. Catherine Eddowes was the second woman to be murdered in what has become known as the "double event".

Dr Rees Ralph Llewellyn

Dr Rees Ralph Llewellyn

by Fred Lester

Dr Rees Ralph Llewellyn was called to the scene where Mary Ann Nichols was murdered in the early hours of 31st August 1888. He was summoned by PC John Thain 96J (Bethnal Green) at around 4:00 a.m.

Dr George Phillips

Dr George Phillips

by Fred Lester

Dr George Phillips was sent for in the early hours of Saturday, September 8th, 1888 following the discovery of Annie Chapman's mutilated body.

Inspector Joseph Chandler, of Commercial Street police station, arrived on the scene and immediately sent for divisional surgeon Dr George Phillips.

Dr Gordon Brown

Dr Gordon Brown

by Fred Lester

Catherine Eddowes was the second woman killed on September 30th, 1888. At 2am Dr Gordon Brown, the police surgeon for the City Police, attended the scene.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

by Fred Lester

According to the author Diane Madsen Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes) and his mentor Dr Joseph Bell correctly identified Jack the Ripper. Diane Madsen has released a new book detailing her beliefs: The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper.

Michael and Anne Barrett - where are they now?

Michael and Anne Barrett - where are they now?

by Fred Lester

After the infamous Diary of Jack the Ripper was published in 1993, Michael and Anne Barrett found themselves the centre of a whirlwind of media attention. More than twenty years later, experts still debate about the authenticity of the diary and how the couple found the ageing manuscript.

The Diary of Jack the Ripper

The Diary of Jack the Ripper

by Fred Lester

he famous diary supposed to have been authored by James Maybrick certainly attracted a lot of attention when the manuscript was "discovered" in 1992. The story of the diary's origin is also quite mysterious, as the parties involved have changes their stories numerous times since the diary was made public.

Florence Maybrick

Florence Maybrick

by Fred Lester

The story of Florence Maybrick's murder trial, conviction, and release, captivated her supporters and critics on both sides of the audience throughout her fifteen-year saga. American-born Florence and her cotton-broker husband charmed Liverpool society, but their marriage was not as problem-free as it appeared.