JACK THE RIPPER "UNSOLVED" A CASE STUDY ON THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS
During a 71 day period beginning on August 31, 1888 until November 09, 1888 a total of five unsolved murders occurred within the Whitechapel section of London under night conditions. The victims were all female. The murderer was never caught, furthermore he was never identified. He wasn't a doctor, a prince or a painter. And of course he wasn't a woman though it was suggested. Even Oscar Wilde claimed to know the identity of the killer. The image actually first stirred curiosity within the press. After all it was the press who created The Ripper but the bloody results were solely his.
Victim #1: Mary Ann Nichols (Polly) found dead on the outside gate dropped area of a footpath at 3:40 am Friday August 31, 1888 on Buck's Row(now 2 Durward Street) Whitechapel. Polly lived at 18 Thrawl Street(Vallance Street) Spitalfields.
Victim #2: Annie Chapman (Dark Annie) found dead 13 days later at 6 am Saturday September 8, 1888 in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street(now Truman Brewery) Spitalfields. Last seen alive at 5:30 am. Rings torn from fingers. Resided at 30 Dorset Street(Commercial Street/Brick Lane).
Victim #3: Elizabeth Stride (Long Liz) found dead at 1 am(perhaps killed between 12:46 am-12:56 am) Sunday September 30, 1888 behind a yard at 40 Berner Street(now Henriques Street) in St. George in the East(Dutfield's Yard). Site occupied by former London County Council School now known as A Harry Gosling Primary School. Long Liz lived at 32 Flower & Dean Street(Lolesworth Close).
Victim # 4: Catherine Eddowes (Kate Kelly) was found dead less than an hour's time from Long Liz at 1:45 am Sunday September 30, 1888 at Mitre Square at Aldgate. She resided at 55 Flower & Dean Street(Lolesworth Close).
Victim #5: Mary Kelly (Jane/Jeanette) was found dead 39 days later at 4 am Friday November 9, 1888 at her home located at 13 Miller's Court(demolished north side 1929) renamed Duval Street in 1904. Previously resided at 26 Dorset Street with Joe Barnett for 18 months.
I traveled to London on two separate occasions to do a hands-on field investigation and photograph the area. The murders actually occurred in two separate law enforcement sectors of the city. One involved the Metropolitan Police and the other The City of London Police. Both departments at the time despised each other which made cooperation and information sharing difficult.
I met with Donald Rumbelow, author of "The Complete Jack the Ripper" atop Tower Hill by the London Wall(built by the Romans under Emperor Trajan during the late 2nd Century) directly across The Tower of London. Donald had been basking in the glory of having spent 3 days with Johnny Depp as advisor to the film "From Hell". We ended up going to the The Ten Bells which is an extraordinary bar built about 1752. It was also the exact location where all of the victims drank at one time or another. Being with Donald at this point was an advantage because the The Ten Bells did not permit photography but I was given special privileges being with this so-called expert on the topic of Jack The Ripper. Afterwards I then proceeded on my own to explore the area till the late night hours.
Now to answer questions never asked such as where did the killer reside during the murders I implemented a method borrowing a military term called "Avenues of Approaches". We do not know who the killer was but we do know where the crimes occurred and where the victims lived and spent their leisure time. This was my method. I will explain it to you.
All the victims lived within a 3 block radius of each other to include The Ten Bells bar yet only one was murdered within this radius and that was the last victim. Victim #1 was murdered north east (farthest) outside the radius. I believed the killer came and lived within this area. Victim #2 was found directly west from Victim #1 closer but still outside the radius. Victims #3 & #4 was a double homicide, both murdered the same evening within an hour of each other. Victim #3 was murdered directly south of Victim #1 outside the radius. This murder was known to be interrupted by a passerby. Victim #4 was then murdered directly west from Victim #3 completely outside the radius and the only one falling outside the sector into a second police jurisdiction. Now this is what confirms the pattern-Heading directly north east exactly to the location of Victim #1 a part of a bloodstained apron which was cut away from Victim #4's neck was located in a hallway at 108-19 Goulston Street(now White's Row) in the Wentworth Model Dwellings. Victim #4 had been at a solicitation location outside St. Botolph's Church. Tracking begins from where the body was found. Since there was no 3rd homicide that evening we begin at Mitre Square heading north east towards Goulston Street and continuing at that path is Victim #1's location. The Killer was going home. The double homicide made it possible to trace the killer by the location of the missing bloodstained apron.
Following the examination of all four corpses it was determined that the bodies had been mutilated but not completely when compared to Victim #5. The killer had been distracted each time.
To simplify things the final Victim #5 was murdered within the radius. She also lived alone and had her own private room unlike the others. This made it convenient for the killer in that he could take his time unlike all the previous murders which occurred in an alley, sidewalk, backyard, and public square. Based on the photographs and witnesses her body was completely opened up.
The psychological profile of the killer is explained here. I will use the case history of Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer stated that the reason he cut open his victims was that he became sexual aroused by seeing the internal organs. I strongly believe that the killer according to the physical condition of all his victims had this compulsive urge to view the internal organs of his victims. He was never able to fully accomplish this with the first four victims due to being disturbed by pedestrians and night watchmen until he finally met Mary Kelly Victim #5 who had her own private room where The killer was able to take his time and dissect her completely thus satisfying his curiosity. The Ripper was never heard from again.
Whatever became of him is unknown therefore the story ends here. There is no more. People like Patricia Cornwall claimed that the Ripper was this painter called Walter Sickert (1860-1942). This is totally ridiculous. Cornwall spent a good amount of money purchasing paintings to add to her art collection. One of the paintings happened to be called "Jack the Ripper's Room". So what! The murderer never called himself Jack The Ripper to begin with. He was in so deep he didn't associate with nicknames, publicity, or newspaper headlines. He never wrote to the press. An unknown. A loner, perhaps. Most definitely anti-social. He was living at the moment, set on a midnight mission within his madness. Probably had no associates. Spoke of his crimes to no one. A sociopath as well as a psychopath. In 19th century Whitechapel a man could dwell among the population and not be noticed if he only kept to himself. He was more of a slasher and stabber who wanted to get close but because he was socially inept he could only find his solutions at the end of a knife.
Sadly the story of The Whitechapel Murders has it's greatest influence within the entertainment field. As early as 1927 a silent film called "The Lodger: The Story Of the London Fog" by Alfred Hitchcock was based on the Jack The Ripper murders known only as "The Avenger" in London. This movie was based on a novel of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes who cowrote the play "Who Is He?" The film actually revealed Hitchcock's psychological attraction to the association between sex & murder, ecstasy & death. It dealt with the public media's hysteria about the crime.
I did my research using using maps and facts not fantasy. Does a serial killer really have to be a celebrity or a prince to exist? Does he have to know Oscar Wilde? I don't think so. Serial Killers are usually the type of people we hardly notice. The occasional passer-by in a hallway, an elevator, or on a sidewalk. We usually find out about them when it is much too late.
A year later I returned to Whitechapel. The neighborhood was changing rapidly. Many of the old structures which coexisted during the era of The Whitechapel Murders were gone or being demolished for office buildings and condos. I stopped by the Ten Bells and asked about Donald Rumbelow. The bartender told me they hadn't seen him in awhile.
The Ripper is no longer a threat in Whitechapel. The threat now wears a suit, a bowler hat, and calls itself a barrister. Though The Whitechapel Murderer no longer stalks the streets of London, the independent genius who took matters into hand and gave the trade name will haunt this neighborhood forever.
"The Wasteland" T.S. Eliot 1922
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.