Around the same time New England were dealing with a vampire panic from tuberculosis, Victorian London saw something far more sinister. A string of brutal murders occurred from 1888-1889 by a mystery assailant known only as Jack the Ripper – The White Chapel Killer.
The mysterious killer who managed to elude identification for over 120 years is surely dead by now, but he became the world’s most infamous and notorious serial killer in history, not just because of his crimes, but because he became a media sensation and taunted authorities, challenging them to find him.
The elusive ripper began his murder spree in 1888 when he targeted East London’s poorest quarters that were ridden with crime, but nothing could prepare the residents for the brutality the ripper brought.
With a large number of attacks on women in London’s East End during the time of Jack the Ripper, it’s difficult to pinpoint just how many deaths the ripper was responsive for, but in a London Metropolitan Police Service investigation, they noted eleven separate murders which were documented as the ”Whitechapel murders”.
Jack the Ripper’s crimes consisted of brutal murders on women, mainly prostitutes, where he would bludgeon his victims to death, remove different organs and mutilate their bodies, though he did so with clear expertise in anatomy from the way he accurately removed the organs.
Although the crime scene walls were sprayed with blood and the victim was a complete mess, the actual operations of removing the organs were done with an understanding of where to access them and how to cut them out. This even led investigators to believe he could have been a butcher.
As police scrambled to profile the mystery murderer and follow the trail of the vicious killings, and with forensics working hopelessly on the crime scenes which looks like gruesome horror movies, Jack the Ripper continued his spree and even taunted the authorities with letters, and packages containing body parts of his victims.
Unfortunately in the late 19th century, forensic science wasn’t at a level that it was today and despite valiant efforts, authorities just couldn’t figure out who was responsible for the murders.
With most of London’s Metro Police on high alert, as well as the residences of Whitechapel, Jack the Ripper still continued to carry out these seemingly well-planned murders. He should have been heavily blood stained when he left the crime scenes, but he managed to slip away into the night every time.
On one occasion, the police arrived at a crime scene and suspected the killer had literally just left, but despite an extensive search, no blood-stained killer was found and the Ripper vanished somewhere through the backstreets of the grisly London neighborhood.
The Ripper’s last murder was Mary Jane Kelly on November 9th, 1889. After this, the Ripper was never seen again. Much speculation arose as to why he stopped killing, but most consider it to be because he came close to capture or simply died.
Over a century later and the true identity of Jack the Ripper remains a mystery, but his crimes live on in books and tv shows. There was even a Hollywood movie made on the story of the crimes starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham called, From Hell.
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