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Jack The Ripper

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Spoilt Victorian
838011.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:25 am Reply with quote

Q: "How many women did Jack The Ripper kill?"
A: "There is no simple answer. In a sentence: at least four, probably six, just possibly eight." ~ Philip Sugden (The Complete History of JTR)

It is generally believed there were 5 victims:
Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, murdered Friday, August 31, 1888.
Annie Chapman, murdered Saturday, September 8, 1888.
Elizabeth Stride, murdered Sunday, September 30, 1888.
Catharine Eddowes, also murdered that same date.
Mary Jane (Marie Jeanette) Kelly, murdered Friday, November 9, 1888

The name 'Jack The Ripper' comes from the 'Dear Boss' letter of 27/9/1988 sent to the Central News Agency.
Even at the time, the letter was considered to be a (probable) hoax, but merited much attention and the name stuck.
Dear Boss,
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn't you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck.

Yours truly
Jack the Ripper

Dont mind me giving the trade name

PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I'm a doctor now. ha ha

The website is full of QI information about the case (and the message board varies from serious studies to the 'lunatic fringe' )

~ Vikki

838014.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:31 am Reply with quote

There are as many conspiracy theories about the case of Jack the Ripper as there are about the assassination of John F Kennedy.

What can be admired is the name Jack the Ripper as an inspired piece of Victorian journalism.

838025.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:21 am Reply with quote

Here's another piece to the puzzle: a 'ripper' was a porter at Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market, they used to carry stacks of circular baskets on their heads.
Here's one:

838047.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:12 am Reply with quote

I once read that there was a theory that Jack the Ripper was a Jew.

Spoilt Victorian
838048.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:30 am Reply with quote

zomgmouse wrote:
I once read that there was a theory that Jack the Ripper was a Jew.

Stephen Knight had a theory he was one of the "Juwes" - but that's been debunked

838055.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:08 am Reply with quote

The Stephen Knight theory appeared in his book somewhat erroneously (and unfortunately, one might think) entitled "Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution". This was turned into a film called "Murder By decree" which starred Christopher Plummer and james Mason as Holmes and Watson. I expect most people have seen it but, if not, it is great film.

The thing about "the Juwes" refers to something called the Goulston Street graffito may, or may not. have said "The Juwes are the men who will be blamed for nothing". This is somethign that it would take too long to write about here but here is a link which presents two opinions (if you can be bothered to scroll down).

Zebra57 wrote:
There are as many conspiracy theories about the case of Jack the Ripper as there are about the assassination of John F Kennedy.

You mean the CIA killed Jack the Ripper too?

838093.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:41 pm Reply with quote

People who write books about the Ripper murders do seem insistent that their theory is definitely the right answer, don't they? I mean, I know it's only to be expected that they'll think that, but they seem rather overconfident that their publications will convince everybody else.

dr bartolo
838099.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:37 pm Reply with quote


I say, whoever he is, I admire his handwriting and the nice red ink he uses

Spoilt Victorian
838150.  Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:06 pm Reply with quote

dr bartolo wrote:
I say, whoever he is, I admire his handwriting and the nice red ink he uses

Yes, his name is Thomas J. Bulling and he works for the Central News Agency!

(before anyone jumps on my throat, OF COURSE this is conjecture)

~ Vikki

838230.  Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:39 am Reply with quote

I think we can expect a lengthy post from crissdee on this, as it is one of his specialist subjects.

838387.  Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:21 am Reply with quote

It seems that the first reference of Ripperology comes from as late as October 3, 1987 in the Telegraph. I'm not sure what a studier of Ripperology was called before that. Does that mean most theories are post 1987?

Spoilt Victorian
838394.  Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:54 am Reply with quote

The earliest reference to the word 'Ripperology' that I can find is by Colin Wilson in April 1972.
This is to be found in the last paragraph of introduction that he contributed to Jack the Ripper: A Bibliography and Review of the Literature by Alexander Kelly (London, Association of Assistant Librarians, S.E.D., 1972): 'If investigation of Michael Harrison's [author of 'Clarence,' a biography of the eldest son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII)] theory proved that J.K. Stephen was Jack the Ripper, then the present bibliography of works on the Ripper would be, I assume, complete and the Ripper file would finally be closed. A sad but exciting day for Ripperologists, and a personal triumph for the compiler of the volume you are now holding in your hand.

Link to article

~ Vikki

838459.  Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:26 pm Reply with quote

The influx of jews from Eastern Europe into the East End of London during the second half of the nineteenth century caused a great deal of racial tension.

In the popular press the jews were blamed for almost any problem that arose. It was therefore hardly surprising that jews were suspects as "Ripper Mania", stoked by sensational press coverage swept through the country.

838613.  Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:22 am Reply with quote

zomgmouse wrote:
I once read that there was a theory that Jack the Ripper was a Jew.

I've read about twenty theories that he was a Christian. So?

Tensions between communities notwithstanding there was no attempt at the time to pin it on 'a Jew' or 'the Jews' and there have been no credible attempts since. That's almost remarkable in itself.

Spoilt Victorian
838617.  Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:52 am Reply with quote

There was never any credible attempt to pin it on 'a Jew' or 'Jews' but anti-Jewish feeling was certainly running high at the time and the public (or more likely the newspapers) were certainly looking for someone/some group to blame.
This is why the Goulson Street Graffito was ordered to be removed.
Sir Charles Warren's report ~
"A discussion took place whether the writing could be left covered up or otherwise or whether any portion of it could be left for an hour until it could be photographed; but after taking into consideration the excited state of the population in London generally at the time, the strong feeling which had been excited against the Jews, and the fact that in a short time there would be a large concourse of the people in the streets, and having before me the Report that if it was left there the house was likely to be wrecked (in which from my own observation I entirely concurred) I considered it desirable to obliterate the writing at once, having taken a copy of which I enclose a duplicate.

After having been to the scene of the murder, I went on to the City Police Office and informed the Chief Superintendant of the reason why the writing had been obliterated.

I may mention that so great was the feeling with regard to the Jews that on the 13th ulto. the Acting Chief Rabbi wrote to me on the subject of the spelling of the word "Jewes" on account of a newspaper asserting that this was Jewish spelling in the Yiddish dialect. He added "in the present state of excitement it is dangerous to the safety of the poor Jews in the East [End] to allow such an assertion to remain uncontradicted. My community keenly appreciates your humane and vigilant action during this critical time.

It may be realised therefore if the safety of the Jews in Whitechapel could be considered to be jeopardised 13 days after the murder by the question of the spelling of the word Jews, what might have happened to the Jews in that quarter had that writing been left intact.

I do not hesitate myself to say that if that writing had been left there would have have been an onslaught upon the Jews, property would have been wrecked, and lives would probably have been lost; and I was much gratified with the prompitude with which Superintendent Arnold was prepared to act in the matter if I had not been there."



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