Jack The Ripper – The White Chapel Murders
Jack the Ripper was an infamous serial killer who terrorized White Chapel in London’s East End in 1888. They earned their name after police investigators received a letter, entitled “From Hell”, from someone claiming to the be ”Jack the Ripper”. In the police case files, they were known as “The Whitechapel Murderer”, as well as “Leather Apron“. During 1888, the Ripper preyed upon desperate prostitutes who worked in the slums of London’s East End. The Ripper cut their throats prior to mutilating their abdomens. The mysterious killer even removed organs from at least three of their victims, including wombs and kidneys, which led investigators to believe they had some knowledge of anatomy.
Investigators received a string of letters from someone claiming to be Jack the Ripper. Due to writing styles and grammar, it appears each letter came from a different source. Here’s the original letter:
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck.
Jack the Ripper
Dont mind me giving the trade name
PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I’m a doctor now. ha ha”
A second letter was received by George Lusk, of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, which was called the “From Hell letter“, also known as the “Lusk Letter”. It was accompanied by half of a preserved human kidney which was reportedly taken from one of the victims. Another letter and another postcard was sent in from people claiming to be the East End’s serial killer. You can see them here: The Saucy Jacky Postcard | The Openshaw Letter
Jack the Ripper was responsible for five murders from August to November 1888. Many more murders occurred up to 1891, but investigators were unable to link them, though it’s become a common theory that those victims were also killed by the Ripper.
Investigators had many theories of the true identity of The Whitechapel Murderer, none of which were ever proven. It was clear that the elusive Ripper plan the murders and used his own weapons (instruments), rather than a weapon of opportunity, and managed to disappear into the night without a trace. During the midst of the killing spree, he was able to approach prostitutes without arousing suspicion that he was the mysterious killer, which suggests he knew the area well enough to continuously go unnoticed. This might also suggest he lived close by, which afforded him the ability to blend in with the locals and escape the highly populated areas unnoticed, sometimes he should have even been heavily blood stained.
Despite over a century of investigation, the true identity of Jack the Ripper remains unsolved. Many references have been made to the elusive serial killer including, books, a TV series, and the 1999 movie by the name of the letter, From Hell.