Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper, a name given to the murderer of five or six women in the East End of London in 1888, has remained a mystery and has also continued to fascinate and horrify many people till this day. Between August and November 1888 five or six women were murdered in the Whitechapel are of London. All the women were prostitutes and all, except for one (Elizabeth Stride), were horribly mutilated. 

The first murder took place on 31 August where Mary Ann Nichols was murdered. Annie Chapman was killed on 8 September. Catherine Eddowes and Elizabeth Stride were murdered on the 30th of September and Mary Jane Kelly on the 9th of November. These five are known as the 'canonical five' Ripper murders. The sixth person thought by many to be a Ripper victim is Martha Tabram who was stabbed to death on 6 August 1888, making her the first victim. 

There has been much speculation as to the identity of the killer. Many believe that he or she was a butcher or a doctor. This was based on the evidence of weapons and the mutilations that occurred, which showed an excellent knowledge of human anatomy. Many theories have been put forward but all had insubstantial evidence. One theory links the murders with Prince Albert Victor, Queen Victoria's grandson, who was also known as the Duke of Clarence. 
At that time violence to prostitutes was not uncommon. Many women were being brutalised, but in the case of the ripper murders it is strongly suggested that they were committed by a single perpetrator.

Near the murder scene of Catherine Eddowes' murder, the words 'The Juwes are not the men to be blamed for nothing,' were found written on a wall and it was believed that it was the killer's words. A police officer ordered the words to be removed, fearing an anti-Semetic backlash due to the fact that the area had a large Jewish population. It is also thought that the murderer had contacted public figures via letters, but these and the writing on the wall have never been proved to be authentic. 
Jack the Ripper was never caught and he is not thought to have killed again after November 1888.  

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