From the vast amounts of theories and suspects out there and from the serial killer profile and what I know of society at the time I am still unable to pinpoint who I believe jack the Ripper was. There are many cases for and against who it could be (see bibliography). I have kept an open mind to all theories until I have seen the whole case prepared (by those more experienced that I). However I do feel more swayed towards three suspects, which I have mentioned in the previous Chapter – William Bury, Kosminski/Kaminski and Joseph Barnett. The cases against these suspects I feel are stronger than others that I have read. In some cases there is too much coincidence for it not to be one of them.
I do believe that whoever Jack the Ripper was he did not simply start off with Mary Ann Nichols. All serial killers as has been pointed out start of on a smaller scale, their fantasies grow and get worse until something triggers them into life and reality. As a result of this I believe that Martha Tabram could have been the first Victim of Jack the Ripper and that his methods developed from there after realizing the amount of blood produced from the body was too much and so decided to strangle his victims before he slit their throats to reduce the amount of blood.
As for the double event I again do not believe that Elizabeth Stride was a victim of Jack the Ripper. I believe it was an unfortunate incident which happened to occur on the same night that Jack the Ripper struck again. For starters Dutfields Yard was not a secluded place, and if either the prostitutes or their client was deciding upon the location it seems that this was not an appropriate one. It was right near a club which was occupied with people coming and going. Secondly it seems that either our witness Schwartz either saw a robbery taking place which went wrong or a domestic argument which too went wrong. Some people claim that the Ripper had no time to do his mutilations and that was why he killed again later that night; however there is the theory that it wasn’t Jack at all (see Jack the Ripper a new Theory – William Stewart 1939). That the killer had no urge to mutilate. Also she had her throat slit and it seems there was no evidence of strangulation like on the others as we have seen. The killer was probably in fact Strides partner, Michael Kidney. And through a row he lashed out and killer her. There is proof that their relationship was a violent one, with Elizabeth, even at one point was going to get Kidney charged with abuse but in the end she never showed up to press her claim.
I do not know for certain who I think Jack the Ripper is. One thing I believe is that at some point the police had spoken to him and that there was evidence in his life of violence towards women. I believe that he may have had some anatomical knowledge but not a lot and that it was just the need to mutilate and ‘rip’ his victims that caused him to do what he did, not that he had a goal to take away certain organs. The murders progressively got worse with Mary Kelly being the peak of his madness. Something happened after Kelly to either make him stop or change. Either as has been outlined he was confined to a asylum or moved away and as able to seemingly act to a point normal due to the fact that Kelly’s mutilations were so bad something was worked out of his system for a very brief period. Whoever it was I believe Jack was caught by the police but not for his crimes as the Ripper, for another crime or murder he committed and was either sentenced to death or confined for the rest of his life.
The Jack the Ripper and Whitechapel Murders not only committed mayhem and mystery in the 1880s but even so today. New books and articles are being published all the time with new theory and evidence, some looking at the sourcebooks. No other crime has attracted so many amateur criminologists…’ (Farson.1972.P.15).
We will never know the real identity of Jack the Ripper and the fact that he was not identified and arrested for his crimes is not a fail of the police back then as times and policing were different then we have now. Society was different. One thing we can be certain of is that the Jack the Ripper Murders was a microcosm of all that was wrong in London in the 1880s. This highlighted to the rest of the country how dreadful living conditions were and how bad things had been allowed to get. If they had not been so bad then the women would not had been forced to sell themselves as they did, the area would not been as dark and dismal and makes it easy for one to get away undetected and crime to continue without being noticed.
The press and newspapers were changing as was the rest of the country. These killings assisted with their circulation and helped make some papers survive when otherwise they may not have. Jack killed in horrific ways and that made the papers sell. Then they in turn turned the person who became known as Jack the Ripper into a phantom, a shadow, a legend that would live forever more.
Ackroyd, P. (2001) London: the Biography. Vintage. London.
Beadle, W. (1995) Jack the Ripper: Anatomy of a Myth. Wat Tyler Books. Dagenham.
Beadle, W. (2009) Jack the Ripper: Unmasked. John Blake. London.
Begg, P. (2004) Jack the Ripper: the Facts. Robson Books. London.
Clack, R. and Hutchinson, P. (2007) The London of Jack the Ripper: then and now. Breedon Books Publishers. Wiltshire.
Clack, R. and Hutchinson, P. (2009) The London of Jack the Ripper: then and now (Revised Edition). Breedon Books Publishers. Wiltshire.
Connell, N. (2006) Walter Dew; the Man who caught Crippen. Sutton Publishing. Gloucestershire.
Cook, A. (2006) Prince Eddy Tempus. Gloucestershire.
Cornwell. P. (2003) Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper case Closed. Time Warner Books. London.
Douglas, J and Olshaker, M. (2001) The Cases that Haunt us. Pocket Star books. New York.
Evans, S and Gainey, P. (1995) The Lodger: the Arrest and escape of Jack the Ripper. Century. London.
Evans, S. P and Rumbelow, D. (2006) Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard Investigates. Sutton Publishers. Gloucestershire.
Evans, S. and Skinner, K. (2001) The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook. Robison. London.
Evans, S and Skinner, K. (2001) Jack the Ripper: Letters from Hell. Sutton Publishing. Gloucestershire.
Farson, D. (1972) Jack the Ripper. Sphere Book limited. London.
Fido, M. (1987) The Crimes, detections and death of Jack the Ripper. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London.
Graham, A. and Emmas, C (1999) The Last Victim: the extraordinary life of Florence Maybrick, the wife of Jack the Ripper. Headline. Surrey.
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Knight, S. (2005) Jack the Ripper: The final Soloution. Harper Collins Publishers.
London, J. (1903) The people of the Abyss. (Centenary Edition) Pluto Press. London.
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Rule, F. (2008) The worst street in London. Ian Allan Publishing. Surrey.
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Jack the Ripper: Killer Revealed (2005) Electric Theatre Productions.
Revealed: Jack the Ripper; Tabloid Killer. (2009) Dir. Nicki Stocker. Lion Television Production with Crime and Investigation Network.
Viv Reeves investigates…. Jack the Ripper (2007) Dir. Lucie Donahue. Ruggie Media for Sky Television.
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