The Enduring Mystery of Jack the Ripper

The Enduring Mystery of Jack the Ripper

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just let me know in the late 19th century the city of london was the largest in the world a sprawling metropolis and a melting pot for trade finance and people but in the autumn of 1888 an horrific story emerged from the capitals east end a story so dreadful it sent shockwaves around the world one after another destitute women of the east end fell victim to a vicious killer known as jack the ripper
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despite an extensive manhunt and a few close calls the ripper was never caught instead the murders came to an abrupt end and left behind one of the greatest mysteries in the nels of crime in the east end of london there's a district known as white chapel in the late 19th century white chapel was known for its overcrowded slums where many of the capitals poor and unemployed had taken refuge day and night an army of policemen would
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constantly patrol this labyrinthine network of dimlet streets courts and alleys one such place was a narrow passage known as georgyard near the north entrance of this passage was a residential complex known as george yard buildings it was the morning of august the 7th 1888 when an upstairs tenant named john reeves headed out for work upon reaching the first floor landing reeves encountered a body of a woman
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lying upon her back in a pool of blood horrified by the sight he stumbled down to the street below in search for help constable thomas barrett was the first officer on the scene he was soon joined by dr timothy colleen who conducted a brief examination the woman had been stabbed 39 times primarily in the chest and abdomen dr colleen estimated that she had been dead for quote about 3 hours thus placing the time of death at approximately 2 30 in the morning
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the woman had likely been attacked where she was found as no blood was found beyond the staircase landing but this was strange as none of the tenants in this crowded building had heard a single cry for help or a disturbance of any kind one exception was amy hewitt a tenant who claimed i've heard a lone cry of murder but this was early in the evening of august the 6th and the scream had emanated from outside the complex hewitt further explained the district round here is rather rough
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and cries of murder are a frequent if not nightly occurrence the victim was eventually identified as 39-year-old martha tabrum tabrum was a mother of two and had separated from her husband many years prior her last known address was 19 george street a common lodging house less than 300 meters from the site of her death tamrum had made a living through prostitution and one of her associates was a woman named marianne connolly connolly testified that on the evening
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of august the 6th she and tabrom had been out drinking with two soldiers then shortly before midnight the party of four had separated connolly took her client into angel alley while tabrum guided hers into neighbouring george yard it was the last time she saw tapim alive barely two hours later constable barrett had spoken to a soldier loitering near the north entrance of george yard the soldier had told barrett that he was quote waiting for his mate who had gone away with a girl
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half an hour later tabrum is presumed to have died both connolly and barrett were called upon to identify the soldiers but all those accused could provide an alibi one had been at home with his wife another at an army base and yet another in a completely different part of the city this was enough for inspector edmund reed the lead investigator on the case to abandon this line of inquiry connolly and barrett having both picked out the wrong men they could not be trusted again as their evidence would be
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worthless even if a soldier had been responsible no one could deduce a motive the people of white chapel might have been accustomed to crime and violence but the sheer brutality of this attack was as frightening as it was confounding the crime is one of the most brutal that have occurred for some years for a poor defenseless woman to be outraged and stabbed in such a manner is almost beyond belief these were the concluding remarks delivered at the final inquest
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held on august 23rd only a week later things would go from bad to worse on the morning of august the 31st a man named robert paul left his home on foster street and headed for work after making a right turn in the box row he spotted a man standing in the road the man turned around to face him and said come and look over here there's a woman lying at the pavement the stranger was named charles cross and he too had been on his way to work when
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he first caught sight of the woman the two men now cautiously approached the woman's hands were cold to the touch and cross believed he was dead paul however thought he could sense faint breathing but instead of seeking immediate help cross and paul were more concerned about being late for work as such they quickly resumed their morning commute hoping to notify policemen along the way fortunately constable john neal was just around the corner
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neil was equipped with a lantern and found the woman lying on her back with a deep cut across the throat the wound was still bleeding and parts of her body were still warm he was soon joined by constable john thane who was sent at once to fetch a nearby doctor upon his arrival shortly after four o'clock dr rhys lewellen estimated at quote she had not been dead more than half an hour in other words cross and paul had likely found the woman mere minutes after she
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was killed furthermore three officers had patrolled the vicinity just a few minutes prior constable neal had last inspected box row at approximately 3 15. so too had sergeant henry kirby whereas constable thane had merely passed the end of the street none of whom had seen nor heard anything amiss upon the body's removal to the mortuary a shocking discovery was made apart from two incisions in the throat the woman had also been quote
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disemboweled no organs had been removed but dr llewellyn found quote several incisions running across the abdomen he also believed that the killer possessed quote some rough anatomical knowledge where he seemed to have attacked all the vital parts the victim was quickly identified her name was marianne nichols and she had turned 43 just five days before the murder nichols had at least six children and her last known address was a common
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lodging house at 56 flower indeed street on the night of her death nichols had been turned away from a lodging house on thrall street as she lacked the funds to pay for a bet seeking to raise the money through prostitution nicholson then ventured down osborne street before meeting her friend ellen holland the two of them shared a brief exchange but nichols was visibly drunk when they parted ways around half past two holland saw nickels staggering eastward along whitechapel road
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barely an hour later she was found dead apart from the body itself the killer had left nothing in their wake no blood trail no murder weapon no witnesses inspector joseph helsin the lead investigator on the case stated that quote not an atom of evidence can be obtained to connect any person with a crime while the niko's case ground to a screeching halt its similarities with the martha tabrum case had not gone unnoticed in both cases the attack had been
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needlessly ferocious and there was no discernible motive both victims were prostitutes of roughly the same age and moved in the same circles the only meaningful difference was their injuries tabrum had been repeatedly stabbed whereas nichols had suffered multiple slash wounds differences aside the prevailing assumption was that the same deranged individual had committed both murders a conviction that would only grow stronger in the days that followed
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as the sun was rising on september the 8th a man named john richardson was on his way to work at a quarter to five he made a quick stop at 29 hamburg street he went through the entrance and out the back door by way of a cramped hallway richardson then sat down on the backyard steps before grabbing a knife to trim a vexing piece of leather from his boots once satisfied he left the building and shot the front door behind him about an hour later a third floor tenant
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of the same address john davis plodded downstairs and into the hallway the front door was now wide open but the one in the back was closed when davis went to open it he found the bloody remains of a woman lying on her back just below the steps inspector joseph chandler was the first officer on the scene after a brief inspection he sent it once for a medic dr george phillips arrived at half past six and found the woman quote terribly mutilated the throat had been quote dissevered
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deeply whereas the abdomen had been quote entirely laid open the intestines had been quote lifted out of the body and placed by the shoulder of the corpse the body was then conveyed to the mortuary while inspector chandler and dr phillips conducted a sweep of the backyard most of what they found belonged to the tenants of the building but just below the resting place of the woman's feet they found a small piece of cloth and two combs the items had likely belonged to the victim but it seemed to dr phillips that
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they had been deliberately positioned and arranged by the killer the postmortem revealed that two brass rings had been forcefully removed from the victim's left hand these rings were nowhere to be found portions of the victim's abdomen had also gone missing including the womb dr phillips believed that quote the mode in which these portions were extracted showed some anatomical knowledge this point was greatly expanded upon at the
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subsequent inquest the injuries had been made by someone who had considerable anatomical skill and knowledge there were no meaningless cuts for instance no mere slaughter of animals could have carried out these operations it must have been someone accustomed to the postmortem room the victim was quickly identified as annie chapman chapman's date of birth is a bit uncertain but she was roughly 47 at the time of her death she had at least seven children but was tragically
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only survived by two her last known address was a common lodging house at 35 dorset street on the night of her death chapman had been denied accommodations as she lacked the funds to pay for a bed she was escorted off the premises by the night watchmen who then saw her vanish into nearby alleyway what happened to chapman over the next few hours nobody knows her whereabouts during this time is a complete mystery but unlike the two previous cases a
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witness in the chapman case might have caught a glimpse of the killer at half past five on the morning of september 8th a woman named elizabeth long spotted a man and a woman conversing outside 29 hanbury street long was positive that the woman she'd seen was annie chapman but the man had stood with his back towards long so she never saw his face long did however manage to overhear a fragment of their conversation the man had posed the question will you
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to which the woman responded yes now a lasting point of contention in the chapman case is the time of death according to dr phillips when he arrived at 6 30 chapman had been dead for quote at least two hours that would place her death at around half past four but according to long she saw chapman alive a full hour later then there's the testimony of john richardson richardson was the son of one of the tenants in the building at a quarter to five he made a routine
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checkup on the door to the basement which had previously suffered a break-in when he found it secure he sat down on the backyard steps to trim a piece of leather from his boot even though he sat mere centimeters from the murder site richardson did not see a body he was adamant on this point i could not have failed to notice the deceased if she had been there to muddle the timeline even further there's the testimony of albert kadosh about twenty minutes past five cash had gone through the backyard of 27 hanbury
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street when he heard voices coming from nearby they were barely audible however and kadush had only made out the word no a few minutes later he heard something falling against the wooden fence dividing the two yards there's no one way to untangle this web of contradictions but dr phillips did concede the possibility that he'd miscalculated that quote the coldness of the morning and the great loss of blood had skewed his opinion which was largely
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based on the warmth of the body so presuming that dr phillips did miscalculate and the recollections of long and kaddish were off by a few minutes that would place chapman's death at around 5 30 in the morning by this point the dim light of dawn would have provided the tenants of 29 hanbury street an unobstructed view of the murder site some of whom had even slept with their windows open in spite of this the killer managed to evade detection and even made time to
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arrange the victims possessions as the tally of victims gradually mounted the public grew increasingly anxious they were not only frightened by the murders but frustrated with the police and their perceived incompetence even across the pond where the efforts of the police fiercely criticized the london police and detective force is probably the stupidest in the world what these mocking quotes and illustrations failed to capture were the overwhelming odds stacked in favor of
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the perpetrator the police were up against someone who seemingly struck without motive someone who left no mother weapon and few witnesses on top of that the east end was severely overcrowded while the police were understaffed as one newspaper put it a man in the east end of london is a grain of sand as invisible and almost as much beyond identification amid the masses at no point with this become more apparent than during the events of
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september the 30th on september 29th a routine saturday meeting was held at the socialist club on burner street when the meeting came to a close around midnight all but a few members returned home those who remained proceeded to drink and socialize half an hour in september 30th joseph lave stepped outside to get some fresh air lave used the side entrance leading into dutville's yard and lingered for about 10 minutes moments after laven got back inside
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morris eagle accessed the building by the same entrance he too was a member of the club and had just returned after escorting a woman home neither of them noticed anything unusual 20 minutes later the sound of a horse and carriage could be heard dropping down burner street the driver was louis deemshutz the steward of the clubhouse when deemshutz drove into dutville's yard his pony abruptly veered to the left when he looked down to his right he thought he could discern something in the darkness
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deem should step down from his barrel and after lighting a match could see a woman lying on her side against the wall without even knowing if he was quote drunk or dead deemshads rushed inside the club to check on his wife when he found her safe and sound he alerted the other members and a small crowd soon gathered outside they could now see that the woman's throat had been quote fearfully cut and that quote a stream of blood was trickling down the yard eagle deemshuts and a few others
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promptly dispersed to find a policeman while a growing crowd of bystanders waited for authorities to arrive there was no sign of the perpetrator but across the city less than a kilometer to the west an even more gaulish discovery was about to be made at half past one of the same morning constable edward watkins patrolled an open space known as mitre square watkins beat would take him through the square about once every 13 minutes and
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on this occasion it was deserted but in the time it took watkins to complete another rotation miter square was turned into a crime scene i next came in at 1 44 i turned to the right i saw the body of a woman lying there on her back i saw her throat was cut and her bowels protruding the stomach was ripped up she was lying in a pool of blood dr george zikera and dr frederick brown soon converged upon the scene they found terrible injuries inflicted
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upon the woman's face throat and abdomen the intestines had been quote drawn out to a large extent and placed over the right shoulder among the many lacerations to the face dr brown noted that quote the lobe and oracle of the right ear was cut obliquely through based on their expert opinions coupled with the testimony of watkins the woman had died within minutes of her body being found back in burner street dr frederick blackwell and dr george phillips had reached the same conclusion
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the woman in dutville's yard had died within minutes of her body being found but unlike previous victims she had only suffered injuries to the throat there were no abdominal mutilations or anything else by which to connect the attack to the others but the murder and deathfield's yard and the one in mitre square were separated by less than one kilometer and some 45 minutes this allowed for a chilling possibility it was suspected then as it continues to be today that when democrats came
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clattering through the gateway he unwittingly interrupted the murder the killer may even become trapped inside dotfill's yard because the gate on burner street was the only point of entry perhaps they saw an opportunity to escape when deemshuts then rushed inside the club from there it would have taken them less than 15 minutes to reach mitre square plenty of time to hunt for another victim but it must be emphasized that this is pure speculation there is no evidence to
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suggest the two murders were even connected the woman in dutville's yard was identified as 44 year old elizabeth stride stride was a swedish immigrant who'd lived in london for over two decades following the death of her husband she had made a living through prostitution her last known address was a common lodging house at 32 flower and dean street on the night of her death stride had been seen by quite an abundance of witnesses first she was seen in the company of a
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quote respectably dressed man around 11 o'clock about a quarter to midnight stride was seen talking to a man who was quote decently dressed and had the appearance of a clerk then only a few minutes before the murder stride was seen in the company of a man by constable william smith the man was carrying a small parcel wrapped in newspaper and was of quote respectable appearance it's unclear whether these descriptions are of the same person or if stride
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accosted multiple clients as the night progressed there were other witnesses some less credible than others but the one that really stood out from the rest was israel schwartz about a quarter to one schwartz had been walking down burner street as he came up on duttwell's yard he witnessed a man throwing a woman to the ground in front of the entrance the woman had quote screamed three times but not very loudly schwartz would later identify this woman
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as elizabeth stride schwartz did not try to intervene but often instead to simply cross the street that's when he spied a second man on the opposite side who was lighting a pipe the man who attacked a woman then appeared to address the second man by shouting the name lipsky the pipe smoker then proceeded to follow schwartz before eventually breaking away when taken at face value this story appears to suggest that the killer had an accomplice an accomplice by the name
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of lipsky this was indeed the interpretation of some government officials but inspector frederick abeline one of the lead investigators on the case had a very different interpretation you see the name lipsky had gained notoriety in 1887 when a jewish man by the name of israelitsky was convicted of murder owing to the publicity of that case the surname lipsky had become an anti-semitic slur abaline therefore deduced that the man who shouted lipski was directing an
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insult that schwartz who was described as having a quote strong jewish appearance the man with a pipe meanwhile may have been an innocent passerby who became frightened along with schwartz whether abelian's interpretation is correct it's doubtful we'll ever truly know nevertheless schwartz's account is compelling as he conceivably witnessed the moment when elizabeth stride was attacked back in mitre square a large crowd of spectators had ascended upon the scene
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all driven by their morbid curiosity to get a glimpse of the body the postmortem revealed that the killer had extracted a few organs including the womb and left kidney according to dr brown this extraction required quote a good deal of knowledge which you like into that of a butcher by contrast dr cicada did not find any signs of quote great anatomical skill the woman in mitre square was identified as 46 year old catherine eddos erdos had
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at least five children but after escaping her abusive husband she had become estranged from her family her last known address was a common lodging house at 55 flower and dean street on the night of her death erdos had been out drinking she got so drunk that around half past eight she was found lying on the sidewalk in all gate high street surrounded by a crowd the commotion attracted a few officers who then escorted eddos to a nearby police station there she remained locked in a cell
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until one o'clock in the morning after being released from jail erdos was likely spotted in the company of a man in the vicinity of mitre square only one of the three witnesses joseph lavender had paid close attention to the couple the man had the appearance of a sailor and wore a quote a reddish handkerchief around his neck while lavender did identify the woman as catherine eddos he never saw her face nevertheless this sighting was only made some 10 minutes before eddow's body was
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discovered by constable watkins what's so incredibly tragic about the edo's case is how narrowly the killer escaped justice first of all the only private residence in mitre square was occupied by a policeman and his family they had slept right next to an upper floor window overlooking the motor site second of all a night watchman and retired policeman had been cleaning a warehouse with an earshot of the murder site he would routinely hear the footsteps of
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patrolling officers yet heard nothing at the time of the murder finally constable james harvey had glanced into mitre square at roughly 20 minutes to two that's right in between the sighting by lavender and the body's discovery harvey should have had an unobstructed view of the murder site yet he failed to notice anything suspicious was it too dark was the killer standing just a few meters away cloaked in shadow
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did one or more witnesses get the time wrong while the killer did ultimately escape they did not do so without leaving a trace shortly before three o'clock a blood-stained piece of cloth was found near the entrance to a building a few blocks to the northeast it proved to be a ripped portion of the apron worn by edos the patch had evidently been torn off and then discarded by the killer upon their escape now on the wall above this patch of apron someone had written a message
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the jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing to this day both the meaning and the author of this message remain in doubt was it written by the killer was it an attempt to cast suspicion upon or even away from the jewish community was it completely unrelated to the murder similar questions would soon be raised by a few letters letters which had supposedly been written and posted by the killer
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three days before the murder of elizabeth stride and catherine erdos the central news agency of london received a letter in the post the author of which claimed responsibility for the recent murders and to be planning for the quote next job then in the aftermath of the two killings the same agency received a blood-smeared postcard it contained details about the atrocities which the author described as a quote double event on the off chance that the letters were genuine the police decided to make them
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public the hope was that someone would recognize the handwriting unfortunately no one ever did instead it merely served to advertise the name with which the letters had been signed opinions on the letter's authenticity were divided back then and continue to be today most notably the dear boss letter had promised the quote clip the lady's ears off and send them to the police the police never received such a package and neither of the two victims that had their ears removed
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but you may recall that the right earlobe of arrows had been quote cut obliquely through was this a botched attempt by the killer to keep their promise or was it merely one of numerous lacerations with no connection to the letter the contents of the letter is notwithstanding modern linguistic analysis does suggest that they were penned by the same hand so hoaxes or not the authors were likely one and the same however the handwriting bore quote no resemblance at all to the message
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written above the torn patch of apron now the publication of the letters inspired an onslaught of copycats agencies all over london were soon inundated with correspondence imitating the other two but at least one of them might have been genuine not because of the contents of the letter but rather the contents of a box with which it was delivered on october the 16th a man named george lusk received a small package in the post lusk was the chairman of the white chapel vigilance committee a small group
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of local tradesmen who sought to identify the killer the package consisted of a letter and a cardboard box containing half a kidney the doctors who examined the kidney all agreed that it was human but whether it was the same left kidney removed from the body of eddos could not be determined it could for instance have been an elaborate hoax by a medical student or someone with access to human organs the author of the accompanying letter meanwhile insisted that the kidney did
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belong to the victim and that they had fried and eaten the other half a popular theory at the time and one that still is today was that some of the letters had been fabricated by the press according to chief inspector john littlechild the letters were quote a smart piece of journalistic work assistant commissioner robert anderson dismissed the letters as quote the creation of an enterprising london journalist meanwhile chief constable melville mcnaughton thought he could discern the
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quote stained forefinger of the journalist there are a few candidates for who this journalist might have been but there is no solid evidence against any one of them whether it was a hoax by an enterprising journalist or the genuine prose of the ripper the letters did nonetheless receive widespread attention they commanded space in virtually every newspaper and dominated much of the public discourse throughout october a month which passed without a single atrocity bearing the signature marks of
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jack the ripper perhaps it was finally over it is pretty certain that the master has become frightened and has suspended his horrible work for the present if not for good on the morning of november the 9th a merchant and property owner named john mccarthy was going through its bookkeeping mccarthy was the landlord of miller's court and the tenants of room 13 had fallen behind on their rent mccarthy sent it once for his assistant
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thomas boyer to collect the money at the quarter to 11. after knocking twice without response boyer went around the corner to peer through a window but his view was obstructed by a coat or curtain so boyer had to reach through a broken window pane to pull it aside that's when he saw the severely mutilated body of a woman lying upon a bed in the corner of the room miller's court was soon crawling with police but the door to room 13 was locked and had to be forced open with a pickaxe
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what they found inside was truly the stuff of nightmares the sight we saw i cannot drive away from my mind it looked more like the work of a devil that of a man the whole scene is more than i can describe i hope i may never see such a sight again dr george phillips described the barney as quote cut all to pieces dr thomas bond described the woman's face as quote hacked beyond recognition the abdomen had been quote emptied of its viscera while the throat had been
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quote severed all round down to the bone the body had been monstrously disfigured with loose organs dispersed all around it the room itself was sparsely furnished and offered little in the way of clues two tables one or two chairs and a small cabinet amongst the ashes of a fireplace the police found patches of burnt clothing had the killer tried to dispose of evidence or had it merely been used for warmth and light the victim was identified almost
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immediately her name was mary jane kelly and she was the tenant of 13 miller's court but nearly everything about kelly's life is shrouded in mystery she was presumably of well sure irish descent and in her mid-20s making her the youngest victim by far but given that no matching records of a mary jane kelly have been found it's probable that she was using a fake identity in any case kelly had not been living alone up until a few days before the murder she had cohabited with a man
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named joseph barnett they had only separated on october 30th because burnett disapproved of kelly's prostitution and the people with whom she associated but they did see each other again on the evening of november the 8th burnett paid kelly a visit upon his arrival he found kelly in the company of a woman who was just about to leave unfortunately there are conflicting accounts about who this woman was when barnett arrived and how long he stayed if we choose to believe barnett he
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arrived at some point between seven and a quarter to eight and left before nine o'clock shortly before midnight kelly was spotted in the company of a man by her neighbor marianne cox when cox passed the couple they were about to enter kelly's room cox bit kelly goodnight but she was quote very much intoxicated and barely able to respond once they had gone inside cox could hear kelly singing when cox then left the court about an hour later kelly could still be heard
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singing by two o'clock kelly had apparently ventured back outside for she was spotted by a man named george hutchinson the two of them were supposedly well acquainted and kelly had asked if he could spare a few coins but hutchinson was broke and kelly was desperate for money so they soon parted ways moments later hodgeson observed kelly being accosted by a well-dressed man the two of them had a seemingly jovial interaction and began walking north
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hutchinson found it suspicious that such a well-dressed man would seek the company of a woman like kelly as such when the couple passed him by he scrutinized the man's appearance he was for instance carrying a pair of gloves in his right hand and a small parcel in his left hutchinson decided to shadow the couple as they proceeded to miller's court before they vanished up the court the man handed kelly a red handkerchief and she had supposedly told him alright my dear come along you will be
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comfortable hutchinson remained in the vicinity until three o'clock but neither kelly nor the man reappeared at roughly the same time cox returned home in stark contrast to the loud singing upon her last departure cox was now struck by the complete absence of sound and light from kelly's room finally at approximately four o'clock a tenant above and a woman across from kelly's room heard cries of murder
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the voice was that of a woman and it appeared to emanate from nearby meanwhile other denizens of the court heard no screams at all according to dr bond kelly died between one and two o'clock in the morning dr phillips placed the time of death a few hours later but some witnesses were quite adamant that they had seen or even spoken to kelly as late as eight or ten o'clock in the morning keep in mind that her body was discovered at the quarter to eleven
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these contradictions are difficult to reconcile and the precise time of death eludes us to this day mary jane kelly is typically regarded as the ripper's final victim along with maria nichols annie chapman elizabeth stride and catherine eddos she is part of the canonical five the five victims most likely to have been slain by the same hand martha tabrum might have been a victim of jack the ripper but opinions are divided the same is true of at least a handful
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of other cases even the canonical 5 are not without controversy so the total number of victims is a matter of debate presuming that kelly was indeed the final victim one has to wonder why why did the murders come to such a sudden end did a ripper give into fears of being caught were they imprisoned for a different crime perhaps they succumbed to an illness or committed suicide could they have migrated to another country
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perhaps they deliberately changed their modus operandi to confuse the police the possibilities are virtually endless which means there is no shortage of suspects following the murder of mary and nichols a rumor began to circulate that someone called leather apron was in the habit of abusing prostitutes the name quickly made its way into the press and soon enough it became synonymous with the killer in fact leather apron was the predominant pseudonym before jack the
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ripper but the man identified as leather apron was soon cleared of all suspicion his real name was john piscer and he was in a different part of london on the night when nichols was attacked this misguided manhunt is somewhat emblematic of the whole investigation the police pursued even the most tenuous of leads due to a lack of evidence and mounting pressure from the public they interviewed thousands investigated hundreds and developed numerous theories along the way in the words of inspector
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frederick abeline theories we were lost almost in theories there were so many of them in an effort to narrow down the search the police used a primitive form of criminal profiling the idea was to analyze the available evidence to try and gauge what sort of person had committed the crimes this profile was prepared by dr thomas bond and he described the ripper as a strong middle-aged man with an inoffensive appearance who dressed respectably bond's most controversial assessment was
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that the killer possessed quote no scientific nor anatomical knowledge this stood in direct opposition to the opinions of his peers most of whom ascribed the ripper with at least a basic understanding of anatomy based on the witness accounts the ripper was a man of average height with a medium to stout build in his late 20s to mid 30s he wore dark clothes including a hat of some sort and had a mustache but this sort of aggregation or tabulation of accounts can be quite
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deceptive not only are many details inconsistent but they could be describing entirely different people for all we know none of the witnesses ever laid eyes on jack the ripper so much is up for debate that one can build a case against almost any suspect some have even entertained the possibility that the ripper was a woman or possibly a man disguised as a woman while jill or jackie the ripper is an interesting theory it has failed to achieve any widespread support
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what is rarely in dispute is that the ripper was either of resident of or otherwise familiar with the east end after all he managed to narrowly evade capture on multiple occasions which implies intimate knowledge of byways and patrol routes he likely had some form of employment as the murders were committed around weekends and public holidays and he may have had some degree of anatomical knowledge with this unshakable profile in hand let's take a closer look at a few suspects
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the question is where do we even begin according to criminal profiler and fbi special agent john douglas the ripper was not only a local but was likely interviewed by the police if douglas is correct the ripper might be someone we've already met either a witness or a person close to one of the victims what about john richardson the witness in the chapman case who sat down on the backyard steps to trim a piece of
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leather from his boots richardson was indeed suspected by the police but they found quote not a shred of evidence against him his mother also lived on the premises so he had good reason to be there what about george hutchinson the witness who followed mary jane kelly after she was accosted by a well-dressed client hutchinson never clarified his motivation for shadowing the couple he merely stated that he was surprised to see a man so well dressed in the company
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of a woman like kelly was he surprised because he was concerned was he jealous was it about money after all hutchinson was broke and the client appeared to be wealthy perhaps he waited outside the court with the intention of mugging this well-dressed client there are many question marks surrounding hutchinson he has never been positively identified so next to nothing is known about his life this makes it very difficult to build a strong case against him
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hutchinson was interrogated by the police but ultimately convinced inspector frederick abeline that he was telling the truth but not every witness attracted such attention from the police take for instance charles cross the man who discovered the body of marian nichols on the morning of august the 31st charles cross left his home on doveton street and headed for work when it turned into box row he happened upon the body of marian nichols
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moments later he was joined by robert paul and events transpired as previously described despite his proximity to the crime cross appears to have escaped suspicion from both the press and the police he was evidently seen as the innocent passerby that he appeared to be but in recent years that perception has been challenged the argument is that cross was in the act of committing the murder when he was interrupted by the approaching footsteps of paul cross then concealed the murder weapon
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and portrayed himself as someone who just found the body the injuries inflicted upon nickels would be consistent with an interruption as they were less severe than those of later victims what's interesting about cross is that he likely testified under a false name he claimed to be employed as a car man and his address was given as 22 dovetail street but surviving records show that in 1888 this address was occupied by a man named charles lechmere
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was also employed as a car man and on at least one occasion went by the name charles cross as it was the surname of his stepfather it is now widely believed that charles lechmere was the man who appeared at the inquest and that he assumed the name of his stepfather when he testified his motivation for doing so has been the source of much speculation was he trying to conceal his identity or was it merely a force of habit after all contemporary examples of
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people doing the exact same thing are not difficult to find the most compelling evidence against lechmere is that his morning commute between home and work roughly coincides with the time and place of the murders except for the murders of elizabeth stride and catherine erdos who were killed on a sunday the only day when lakshmir would have been free from work not only that but all the murders were committed around weekends and public
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holidays why would a man who supposedly timed the murders with his morning commute gravitate towards days of rest in any case lechmere's mother lived a few blocks south of bernie street the neighborhoods around which is also where lechmere spent his childhood as such it's speculated that stride and erdos were killed after lechmere paid a late night visit to his mother while he claimed to be employed at the delivery firm known as pickford's there
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are no surviving records of his employment if he did work for pickford's there is a fair chance that he delivered meat and with us been exposed to slaughter and blood on a daily basis lachmie remained in east london until his death in 1920 at the age of 71. while there is no evidence of lechmere ever being suspected by the police it is difficult to believe that he was completely overlooked many case files have not survived so any doubts investigators might have had
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could have long since disappeared now a witness who definitely attracted attention was joseph barnett joseph burnett was the man who lived with mary jane kelly up until a few days before the murder he and kelly had supposedly met around april of 1887 and they eventually moved to 13 miller's court burnett was employed as a fish porter but for reasons unknown he lost his job between july and august of 1888 from that point onwards the couple
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struggled to pay rent and kelly resorted back to prostitution now those who believe that burnett was the ripper view his loss of employment as a turning point the argument is that barnett was so overcome with guilt and anguish for driving kelly back to prostitution that he went on a murder spree murdering one local prostitute after another in a desperate attempt to frighten kelly off the streets while most of this is pure speculation
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it is true that burnett disapproved of kelly's prostitution you may recall that barnett separated from cali on october 30th because he disliked the prostitutes with whom she associated kelly never went on the streets when she lived with me she would never have gone wrong again and i should never have left if it had not been for the prostitutes stopping by the house this might further explain why kelly was the ripper's final and most viciously mutilated victim the implication being that burnett felt rejected by kelly and
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wanted revenge for the breakup according to burnett he did pay kelly a visit on the evening of november the 8th but they had parted on quote friendly terms he then supposedly went home played a card game until half past 12 before going to bed now kelly is presumed to have died in the early hours of november the 9th so burnett could have returned to miller's court sometime after midnight while the police did subject him to 4 hours of interrogation burnett was
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ultimately released without charge then there's the matter of the locked door when the police arrived at miller's court they had to force the door open with a pickaxe this raised an important question how did the killer lock the door behind him according to burnett the key to room 13 had been missing for some time because of this he and kelly would quote open the door by reaching through the broken window the door was said to be equipped with a quote catch lock and evidently locked
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itself upon being closed if that's true mystery solved but even if the door was not self-locking there's still an obvious solution all the killer would have had to do is observe kelly using the window trick and then employ that same technique to fasten the door upon leaving but those who favor barnett as the ripper offer yet another solution the key never went missing instead barnett is said to have stolen the key and then used it on the knight of the murder
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these solutions are all equally valid and it's impossible to know which one is correct there is a slight variation of this theory which states that burnett did murder kelly but was not the ripper instead he merely emulated the ripper to deflect attention away from himself once again this is pure speculation but the murder of kelly did somewhat differ from the rest in that it was committed indoors burnett remained in the east end until his death in 1926 at the age of 68.
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while it's only natural for suspicion to fall upon witnesses and acquaintances victorian detectives did pursue on the lines of inquiry one prominent theory was that the ripper suffered from insanity and a prime suspect in that category is aaron kosminski the white chapel murders investigation was overseen by numerous high-ranking officers within the metropolitan police one of them was assistant commissioner robert anderson upon his retirement anderson repeatedly and unequivocally
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stated that jack the ripper had been identified there was no doubt whatever as to the identity of the criminal without disclosing the name of the suspect anderson described him as a quote low-class polish jew who was quote safely caged in asylum he'd been identified by a witness who was described as quote the only person who ever had a good view of the murderer this unnamed witness had supposedly refused to testify because the suspect was quote a fellow jew
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i am almost tempted to disclose the identity of the murderer but no public benefit would result from such a course while anderson never revealed the name of the suspect his colleagues were a bit more forthcoming chief inspector donald swanson revealed that his surname was kosminsky yet another high-ranking officer melvil mcnaughton described kosminski as a homicidal and misogynistic resident of whitechapel surviving records show that an aaron kosminski was admitted to a psychiatric
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hospital in 1891 aaron was indeed from poland he was jewish and had lived in white chapel he suffered from auditory hallucinations and a paranoid fear of being fed by others he was trained as a barber but had quote not attempted any kind of work for years it's unclear when his mental health began to decline but upon being institutionalized aaron was deemed to be harmless he was quote quiet and well-behaved and quote apathetic as a rule only on rare occasions would he get
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quote excited and violent however before his confinement aaron had once threatened his sister with a knife the case against him largely hinges upon the claims made by anderson swanson and mcnaughton especially the claim that an unnamed witness identified a suspect named kosminski but the descriptions of that suspect are not entirely consistent with aaron kozminski for instance mcnaughton stated that the suspect had been quote removed
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to a lunatic asylum about march 1889. aaron was first confined in 1891. swanson wrote that the suspect had been quote sent to the asylum and died shortly afterwards aaron was still alive at the time and spent nearly three decades in psychiatric care as such it is possible that the suspect kazuminski was someone other than aaron kosminski it's also possible that these inconsistencies were mere lapses in memory after all these events were
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accounted years or even decades after the fact and mcnaughton even confessed to writing solely from memory regardless of the suspect's true identity anderson was the only one who seemed convinced of his guilt mcnaughton ultimately favored a different suspect and stated that quote many homicidal maniacs were suspected but no shadow of proof could be thrown on anyone inspector edmund reed was of the same opinion now we have sir robert anderson saying
57:05
that jack the ripper was a jew that i challenge him to prove i challenge anyone to prove that there was a title of evidence against man woman or child so when anderson wrote that there was quote no doubt whatever as to the identity of the criminal he merely expressed his personal opinion there was in fact ample doubt and no consensus amongst the police but in recent years aaron kasiminski has been resurrected as a prime suspect due to a controversial dna analysis
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okay so back in 1888 acting sergeant amos simpson is said to have stolen a blood-stained shawl from the crime scene of catherine eddos this shawl was then passed down from one generation to the next before being submitted for dna testing in 2011. dna samples were extracted from the shawl and then compared against maternal descendants of eddos and kosminski in both cases it was a match if the subsequent news coverage is to be believed the mystery has now been quote
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definitively solved aaron kosminski was jack the rapper but as you can imagine it's never quite that simple first of all the providence or chain of custody of the shoal is severely lacking there is no evidence of a shawl being found at the crime scene nor is there any evidence of simpson ever being at the crime scene furthermore a destitute woman like erdos is unlikely to have owned such an expensive item second of all the type of dna used to identify erdos and kasminsky was
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mitochondrial dna the powerhouse of the cell this type of dna is passed down through the female line and is not unique to any one individual thousands can share the same mitochondrial dna which means it can't be used to pinpoint a specific person in the words of a geneticist based on mitochondrial dna one can only exclude a suspect so to say that the mystery has been definitively solved is widely inaccurate there's still plenty of room for doubts so to recap a suspect named kasminsky
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was identified by an unknown witness this was enough to convince at least one senior officer of his guilt that suspect may have been aaron kosminski a man who was largely non-violent but once threatened his sister with a knife aaron can either be incriminated nor eliminated by the dna evidence he spent the rest of his life in psychiatric care and died in 1919 at the age of 53. kosminsky was not the only suspect advanced by a high-ranking officer a
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completely different suspect who still falls into the same category is francis tumblity two days before the murder of mary jane kelly an american physician named francis tumblity was arrested in london as you can probably tell from this photograph tumblrty was quite an eccentric character he was born in ireland around 1833 but was raised in the united states from an early age tablet gained a reputation for being a medicaster or quack doctor he engaged in all sorts of
01:00:24
medically dubious practices and advertised himself as the indian herb doctor he promised to cure anything from dyspepsia and scurvy to cancer and blindness using nothing but medicinal herbs when he was not posing as a doctor tamleti was busy running from the law he was either accused or convicted for crimes like theft and assault attempt to induce a miscarriage and manslaughter of a patient he was even implicated in the assassination of u.s president abraham
01:00:54
lincoln but was ultimately cleared of suspicion now in the early 1860s tumblrty is alleged to have hosted a lavish dinner party in washington only men were invited to this dinner and tumblrty had supposedly expressed fierce hatred of women furthermore he showcased a cabinet in his office in which he stored a vast collection of jars filled with anatomical specimens some of which were said to contain the wombs of quotes every class of woman in 1869 tomlety ventured across the
01:01:28
atlantic and visited england for the first time by his own admission he roamed the streets of london until he became familiar with every part of it he advertised himself as the great american doctor and had a few skirmishes with the police after a few more voyages between the old world and the new tomlety found himself in london in the autumn of 1888 the purpose of his visit and whereabouts at the time of the murders are completely unknown tumblrty never stayed in one place for long and made frequent
01:01:58
use of false names there is a story of a mysterious lodger leaving behind a bloodstained shirt near the murder site of elizabeth's stride this supposedly happened on the night of the murder and some believe that this larger was france's tumblity but there is no firm evidence of that and the entire incident is fraught with uncertainty what we do know is that humblety was arrested in london on november the 7th according to the press as well as tumblr himself he was arrested on suspicion of
01:02:32
being jack the ripper two days later mary jane kelly was found brutally murdered and it's unclear whether tamleti was still in custody or had already been released on bail nevertheless he was ultimately charged with 4 counts of gross indecency which had nothing to do with the murders but tumblrty had no intention of standing trial instead he made his way across the english channel boarded a steamship under a false name and fled back to america he was pursued by
01:03:02
detectives and kept under surveillance but his offenses were quote not extraditable as such tom lucy remained in the united states and never returned to england so to recap francis tumbletty was a misogynistic medicaster who was in london at the time of the murders he even showcased a collection of wombs and the ripper did indeed extract the womb from two of his victims i mean he sounds like the perfect suspect perhaps a bit too perfect
01:03:35
there is no doubt that tamleti was in london in 1888 but the claim that he was a misogynistic collector of human body parts is extremely dubious it can be traced back to a single article from december of 1888 featuring an interview with a man named charles dunham dunham had a long history of spreading misinformation and has been described as a pathological liar a forger and a con man he was even convicted of perjury as such there is every reason to believe that this story is a complete
01:04:06
fabrication tumblity was both older and taller than the man described by most witnesses tamletti was said to be quote an enormous man who liked to dress in flamboyant and militaristic outfits it's difficult to imagine a tall pompous american sneaking around the streets of whitechapel virtually undetected on the other hand it's unclear which if any of the witness accounts can be trusted then there's the matter of the rings you may recall that two brass rings were stolen from the body of annie chapman
01:04:44
it's suspected that the rings were taken by the ripper to be kept as trophies now upon his death in 1903 tumblrty left behind a quite impressive estate but among his many valuable possessions were a pair of inexpensive imitation rings could they have been the same rings taken from the body of chapman it's possible it's also impossible to prove chief inspector john littlechild regarded tumblrty as a quote very likely suspect
01:05:19
and it's not difficult to see why if the many rumors about them are to be believed tamleti had both opportunity and motive to commit the murders but therein lies the problem much of what we know about tumblet is founded upon unsubstantiated rumors tablet himself was an attention seeking charlatan with no qualms about lies and deception with a suspect like that one can never be certain where the lies end and the truth begins to theorize about the identity of jack
01:05:58
the ripper is to navigate the minefield of hearsay sophistry and contradictions entire encyclopedias have been dedicated to the compilation of suspects and with every passing year they seem to grow ever more expansive even though there are hundreds of potential suspects only a dozen or so are worth more than a brief consideration some of the more sensational contenders include famous authors and artists as well as high-ranking officers and members of the royal family but these grand conspiracies and
01:06:30
elaborate deceptions seem hopelessly contrived against the sheer simplicity of a suspect like charles lechmere an unassuming delivery man on his way to work personally i remain unconvinced that jack the ripper has even been identified as a suspect the few covered in this video are probable candidates but it's still possible to make persuasive arguments against them the same is true of all those left out by necessity none of them can offer anything more
01:06:59
than ambiguity and circumstance with a suspect fool in the hundreds that might seem improbable but london was the largest city in the world home to the largest port in the world it was a city of millions with a large population of poorly documented drifters it's not difficult to imagine one lowly sailor butcher medic soldier barber merchant blending into the slums of white chapel
01:07:32
like a grain of sand foreign so you

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