Victims Of Jack The Ripper


Victims Of Jack The Ripper Essay, Research Paper

The Victims of Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper is remembered as one of history?s most famous, daring, and

heinous serial killers. His technique of getting his victims to lay down before

he slashed their throats, then disemboweling them in a matter of a minute or two

with as little blood flow as possible distinguishes him as one of the most

methodical, ruthless killers to ever live. He even performed some of his

gruesome murders right in the street and left his victims to be found minutes

later by people or policemen passing by. This demonstrates what extremes he

would actually go to to fulfill his desire for killing. Through my report I will

attempt to create a brief profile of his victims as well as explore the

methodical and horrendous ways they were murdered. 1.Mary Anne ?Polly?

Nichols Mary Anne Nichols was found dead on Aug. 31, 1888 between 3:30 and 4:00

A.M. by a porter on his way to work. At a first glance, it appeared to the

porter that the woman was just laying down in the street merely unconscious.

Police officer John Neil was summoned to the scene minutes after the body was

found. The light from his lamp revealed that the woman was in fact dead with a

slashed throat. Dr. Rees Ralph Llewellyn was performing a surgery when he was

called to make an official examination of the body. After the examination was

complete he pronounced the woman dead by means of a slashed throat. He also took

special note that the body was still warm, indicating that the victim had been

dead perhaps only minutes before being discovered. The body was removed to the

mortuary shed at the Old Montague Street Workhouse Infirmary to be autopsied.

Only then was the unusually large puddle of blood that had collected beneath the

body seen. Once at the mortuary, Dr. Llewellyn performed a full autopsy which

revealed more about the manner of the murder that was not acknowledged during

the street examination. Not only was her throat slashed, but her abdominal area

and sexual organs had been brutally sliced and mutilated, which explained the

large puddle of blood beneath the body. Furthermore, there were many bruises on

the sides of her face which indicated that she had been knocked unconscious

before being mutilated. The murder was believed to have been committed with a

stout- handled blade of six to eight inches long (Geary, p.7). Mary Anne Nichols

was the first victim of Jack the Ripper who was deliberately mutilated. She was

known as ?Polly? by her friends, and was a drunken street prostitute in her

early forties. She married at the age of nineteen to a printer named William

Nichols. They had five children together. The two eventually separated shortly

after Mary Anne developed a drinking problem. William took custody of all of

their children, except for the oldest, Edward, and paid Mary a weekly allowance

of $5.25 until he learned of her lifestyle as a street prostitute. Mary Anne was

last seen by a friend named Ellen Holland at 2:30 a.m. on the corner of Osborn

Street and Whitechapel High Street. It was noted that she was drunk and

staggering at the time. After a weekend of investigation, the Metropolitan

Police Force was unable to come up with much useful information regarding the

murder of Mary Anne Nichols. 2. Annie Chapman On Sept. 8, 1888, a little before

6:00A.M., Annie Chapman was found laying dead at the foot of steps at the back

of a lodging house by a lodger named John Davis. The first sight of the dead

body sent Davis screaming down his street, alarming the whole neighborhood.

Inspector Joseph Luniss Chandler of the Commercial Street station arrived with

his men to seal off the scene and the building from the large crowd that had

already gathered before their arrival. Dr. Wynne Baxter-Phillips was summoned to

the scene to examine the body. His brief examination revealed that the woman?s

throat was cut with two deep slashes, so deep, in fact that the woman was almost

beheaded. A scarf had been tied around her neck as if to hide the slashed

throat. Her skirt was lifted just above her knees and her legs were bent up and

cut. After her skirt was lifted up, it revealed that her entire body cavity was

opened up, with the entrails entirely scooped out and placed over her right

shoulder. This was an even worse mutilation than the previous victim. The body

was brought to the same mortuary as before, where Dr. Baxter-Phillips performed

a full autopsy. He discovered something that surprisingly had not been noticed

at the scene of the crime; her sexual organs were completely missing. She had

bruises on her face and chest, which implied that there had been a struggle, and

like Polly Nichols, she was probably knocked unconscious before being mutilated.

Again, it was believed that the murder was committed with a stout- handled knife

with a blade of six to eight inches. Annie Chapman was another drunken street

prostitute. She was short, stout, and in her mid-forties. At the age of

twenty-eight, she married John Chapman in London and moved to Windsor. They had

two daughters, although one died, and a crippled son. She abandoned her family

shortly before her daughter died and returned to London. She received sporadic

allowances from her husband until he died. It was allegedly her alcoholism and

immorality that broke up their marriage. She made a living by selling flowers

and matches, soliciting as a prostitute, and occasionally living off of male

friends. Inspector Frederick Abberline of the Great Scotland Yard was assigned

to supervise the investigation, which involved hundreds of policemen. Little

information was found though, due to the lack of cooperation of citizens of the

neighborhood. 3. Elizabeth Stride, 4. Catherine Eddows Elizabeth Stride was

found dead in a dark alley off of Berener Street on Sept. 30, 1888. At 1:00

a.m., Mr. Louis Diemschutz was driving a horse cart when he turned into the dark

alley to see a figure laying on the ground in his path. As he looked closer, he

saw that it was a woman on her back, either dead or just merely drunken. As a

few men arrived on the scene from down the court, the light from their lamps

revealed her slashed throat and the large puddle of blood that had collected

around her. Police arrived to the scene quickly and sealed it off. Dr. William

P. Blackwell, a physician in the neighborhood, was first to examine the body,

and was later joined by Dr. Baxter-Phillips. They observed that the body was

still warm, with a single slash to the throat. But surprisingly, no other

mutilations were found. This gave them the idea that the murderer had been

interrupted in his process of mutilating the woman by the entrance of Mr.

Diemschutz?s cart into the alley. Since the alley was very dark, it would have

made it easy for the killer to flee from the scene. The body was removed to the

same mortuary where Dr. Baxter-Phillips, this time assisted by Dr. Blackwell,

once again performed the full autopsy. Besides the slashed throat, no other

violations could be found by either of the doctors. The general feeling about

Elizabeth Stride?s murder was that it was indeed the work of Jack the Ripper,

and that, because he was interrupted, he did not finish the job. There were two

other theories though: (1) this murder was just the work of an imitator, and

(2), it was the result of a private dispute totally unconnected to the Ripper

murders. Elizabeth Stride was another street prostitute in her early forties,

but unlike the first two victims, she was not known to have a drinking problem.

At the age of twenty-three, she started the life of a prostitute and gave birth

to a still-born baby. She was also admitted twice into the hospital for venereal

diseases. At the age of twenty-seven she married John Thomas Stride and had two

children with him. In 1878, when the steamer Princess Alice sunk off of Woolrich,

Elizabeth claimed her husband and two children had tragically died in the

catastrophe, however, research by Dr. Baxter-Phillips revealed that John Thomas

Stride had actually died in Bromley in 1884, a few years after their marriage

had broken up. His research revealed no evidence of their two children. On the

night of Stride?s death, in Mitre Square, no more than a ten-minute walk from

the scene of her murder, the body of Catherine Eddows was found. At 1:45 A.M.,

police officer Edward Watkins was walking his routine route when he saw a woman

laying on her back. Her body had been ripped open,?Like a pig in the market,?

as officer Watkins colorfully put it (Geary, p.26). The officer had passed

through the square just fifteen minutes earlier, and at that time all seemed

quiet and well. Minutes after the body was found, Dr. George Sequira arrived on

the scene from a nearby surgery to examine the body. He was accompanied by city

police surgeon Dr. Frederick Brown. They discovered that her throat had been

opened with one deep slash, and her face had several small cuts and nips with a

long diagonal slash that severed the tip of her nose and a piece of her right

ear. Her body had been completely ripped up the middle. As with Annie Chapman,

her internal organs had been completely scooped out and placed over her right

shoulder. Both doctors agreed that by the look of it, the disembowelment had

been done in a hurry, but there were no signs of a struggle. As with the

previous victims, there was no spattering or spewing of blood, but instead just

a large puddle of blood that had slowly collected under the body. That

afternoon, Doctors Brown and Sequira performed the autopsy on the body, and

found that her uterus and one of her kidneys were completely missing. This led

to a theory that the murderer was actually just after women?s organs to sell

them on the black market and make a big profit. Catherine Eddows was an

alcoholic in her early forties who made a living from prostitution. According to

her friends, she claimed that she had married a man named Thomas Conway, and had

three children (1 daughter, 2 sons). There were, however, no traces of their

marriage found on registers. The two eventually separated, her daughter, Annie,

saying that it was because of her mother?s drunkenness and periodic absences,

and her sister, Elizabeth Fisher, saying that it was because of Conway?s

drinking and violence. The two boys went to live with their father, and Annie

went to live with Catherine. Annie would eventually marry Louis Phillips. She

and her husband would frequently move around to avoid her mother?s scrounging.

Catherine was last seen by the police at 1:00 A.M., roughly forty-five minutes

before her death. She was brought in to the police station after being found

passed out in an alley at about 8:00 P.M.. The police released her at 1:00 A.M..

Witnesses claimed to have seen a man with a woman, who most certainly looked

like the victim, standing in Mitre Square at 1:30 A.M.. They described the man

as about thirty years old, with a fair complexion and a light mustache. He wore

a loose jacket and a ?reddish-brown? handkerchief with a peaked cloth cap.

He had the overall look of a sailor. The police investigated the whole morning

under the supervision of Sir Henry Smith, the assistant city police

commissioner. They were able to find a blood-smeared knife and a blood-smeared

article of clothing which matched the fabric of the victim?s skirt. 5. Mary

Jane Kelly On Nov. 9, 1888, the body of Mary Jane Kelly, the Ripper?s last

victim, was found in a room on Miller?s Court, a filthy alley-way off of

Dorsey Street. At about 10:30 A.M., Mr. McCarthy, the landlord, sent his

assistant to collect past-due rent from Kelly. After receiving no answer from

within the room, and finding that the door was locked, the assistant peered in

through a broken window pane. One glimpse of the scene inside the room and the

assistant was sent running in horror to the police. Inspector Walter Beck

arrived first at the scene shortly after 11:00 A.M. to seal off the court, and

about thirty minutes later Mr. McCarthy broke open the door to the room. The

first few to enter the room were completely unexpectant of the degree of carnage

with which they were faced. One officer was reported to vomit violently outside

in the gutter after a first glimpse. Dr. Baxter-Phillips arrived at the scene to

make an initial examination of the remains. The bed of the victim was completely

soaked with blood, and the carcass of the victim was literally carved to pieces

(Geary, p.52). Baxter-Phillips estimated that the killer was busy on the body

for at least two hours, and that the victim had been deceased for seven to eight

hours. The mid-section had been completely emptied out and the internal organs

were arranged around the body on the bed. Large sections of flesh and muscle

tissue had been stripped from the bone and placed on the bed-side table. The

front of her upper body had been completely carved off, except for her eyeballs,

which were left in their sockets. From the looks of the room, no signs of a

struggle appeared to have taken place, in fact, the victims clothes were neatly

folded and stacked on a chair. At 3:30 P.M., Dr. Baxter-Phillips proceeded to

reassemble the remains with the help of police surgeon Dr. Thomas Beck, and

several other assistants. They labored for several hours, assembling the body

together,?Like a jig-saw puzzle,? as one of the assistants put it (Geary,

p.54). They also found that there were cuts on her hands, indicating that she

had offered some resistance to her killer, and that none of her organs were

found missing. Despite that she was in her early twenties, Mary Jane Kelly

seemed to be no different from the other victims of the Ripper. She had married

at the age of nineteen to a collier named Davies, who died two or three years

later in a mine explosion. They had no children together, or at least there aren?t

any records that they did. Shortly after her husband?s death, she began her

career as a prostitute in a London brothel, and she also started her life as an

alcoholic. The police?s investigation found that Mrs. Mary Anne Cox, a local

resident, had seen Mary Jane Kelly in the evening at about 11:45 P.M. entering

her room with a short, stout man with a ?carroty? mustache. Ms. Sarah Lewis,

who entered the court at about 2:30 A.M., said she had passed a man loitering

outside the entrance of Dorsey Street, and that somewhere around 4:00 A.M.

(about the hour that the doctors placed the time of death), they heard a woman?s

voice cry ?Oh Murder!? (Geary, p. 57) from somewhere in the court. Neither

of the women took the cry to be of great importance, since such exclamations

were quite common in the neighborhood. Police believed that the murders of all

off these victims were performed by the same killer, Jack the Ripper. All of the

victims? lifestyles and age were the same, which led investigators to believe

that there was a certain personal profile for the Ripper?s choice of victims.

All of the victims, with the exception of Kelly, were in their mid-forties. They

were all prostitutes and most of them lived their lives as alcoholics. They all

had been previously married, and most had children. All of their marriages had

fallen apart after a few years. They eventually chose alcoholism and

prostitution for their lifestyle, and practically lived their lives in the

gutter. A profile such as this led investigators to believe that it was personal

frustration that the Ripper was venting against these women. The manner of the

murders also led investigators to believe that they were all done by the same

killer, in that they all fell prey to a distinct style of mutilation. A slashed

throat, and mutilations of both the internal and sexual organs were all

trademark methods of Jack the Ripper. The extremities of these methods also

indicated an obvious hatred towards these victims, most likely because of their

lifestyles. Although the dismemberment was shocking, it showed a precision that

indicated a knowledge of human and, perhaps, medical training. Although there

were many suspects in question, there was not enough evidence to convict any one

of them. As a result of the lack of evidence, the true identity of Jack the

Ripper, to this day, still remains a mystery. However, it is possible to form a

personal profile of the London East-end slasher based on the evidence, just as

investigators have formed profiles of modern serial killers such as Ted Bundy,

Jeffrey Dahmer or the Son of Sam. Based upon the information that was gathered

by investigators from eye witnesses, the victims that were last seen alone with

someone were last seen with a man. Also, since the victims were all prostitutes,

the killer was probably a man who acted like he was interested in what they had

to offer, then caught them off guard to perform his gruesome task. This man was

probably a loner, or very prominent and had freedom to move about unquestioned.

He was also probably a local man who had lived in the area for quite a while,

and was very familiar with the alleys and streets, which would explain why he

was able to flee from the murder scene of Elizabeth Stride. One theory of what

his motives were for the murders was that perhaps he was a customer of

prostitution and happened to become infected with a disease, so decided to have

his revenge by violently murdering a handful of prostitutes. Another theory was

that maybe he was taking revenge for a family member who was in a similar

situation, or that he came from the same situation as some of the children of

the prostitutes and was also left by his mother who ended up as a prostitute. Or

maybe he just felt that he was merely cleansing society and doing it a favor by

killing off a handful of people who he felt were scum who corrupted society. The

ideal profile of Jack the Ripper was a single man, probably a doctor, who had

bad experiences with prostitutes in the past, and had lived in London long

enough to become familiar with it?s streets and alleys. He was obviously very

daring and nerveless to commit such crimes in the streets, because he could have

been caught at any time by anyone who happened to be passing by.


Bibliography: Beg, Paul, Martin Fido and Keith Skinner. The Jack the Ripper

A-Z., London: Headline Book Publishing, 1991. Geary, Rick. Jack the Rippere A

Joumal of the Whitechapel Murders. New York: Nantier Beall Minoustchine

Publishing, Inc., 1995. Sugden, Philip. The Complete History of Jack the Ripper.

New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.

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