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Interview with Jack the Ripper

Interview with Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper - History's Most Famous Unsolved Crime

I know. Now that I have learned to conduct these supernatural interviews with infamous dead people, you are expecting to read an interview with that mutilating monster of a serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Well, I lied. I am unable to interview Jack. Do I hear you asking, "why"?

Because the serial killer who murdered and mutilated five or six or maybe as many as thirteen prostitutes in the East End of London in 1888 was never found. No one was ever arrested or tried for the murders. It is 122 years later and we are still fascinated with the mystery - who was Jack the Ripper?

Although I cannot conduct an interview with a killer who is unknown, I can do the next best thing and interview the London police officials and others who were most closely involved with the case. You can read the evidence I discovered and decide for yourself.


Martha Tabram may have been the first victim

Martha Tabram may have been the first victim

Top row: Elizabeth Stride   . . . Annie Chapman Bottom row: Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols,  Mary Jane Kelly,  Catharine Eddowes

Top row: Elizabeth Stride . . . Annie Chapman Bottom row: Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, Mary Jane Kelly, Catharine Eddowes

Interview with Police in the Case of Jack the Ripper

"Jack the Ripper" is the name given to the unknown killer because of correspondence at the time from someone who claimed to be the killer signed with that name. This unknown person didn’t claim to be Jack the Killer or Jack the Murderer. He chose the more dramatic appellation, “Jack the Ripper” . Perhaps he was a fan of ancient history and his hero was Vlad Dracula the Impaler.

But while the murders were taking place, the serial killer was known as the”Whitechapel Murderer” or "Leather Apron". All the murders took place within a one-mile area and involved the districts of Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Aldgate and the city of London.

Leather aprons were found at the scene of two of the crimes, but the police soon discovered they belonged to residents who worked in the Spitalfields slaughter houses who hung their leather aprons out to dry each night.

There is some dispute concerning how many victims Jack the Ripper claimed. Some historians believe he may have killed as many as thirteen prostitutes during his violent career. It is generally accepted, however, that there were at least five victims and possibly six.

Victims of Jack the Ripper

Martha Tabram, murdered Tuesday, August 7, 1888 may have been his first victim. The following are the five Ripper's victims that most experts have confirmed:

  • Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, murdered on Bucks' Row, Friday, August 31, 1888.
  • Annie Chapman, murdered at 29 Hanbury Street, Saturday, September 8, 1888.
  • Elizabeth Stride, murdered on Berner Street, Sunday, September 30, 1888.
  • Catharine Eddowes, murdered in Mitre Square, Sunday, September 30, 1888. This was a double feature - two in one day.
  • Mary Jane (Marie Jeanette) Kelly, murdered at #13 Miller's Court, Friday, November 9, 1888
"London News" 1888

"London News" 1888

Why has Jack the Ripper remained so unforgettable for over 100 years? He wasn’t the first serial killer. But he was the first at a time when the general population had become literate, and newspapers were available. Every day you could read about his activities and the actions taken by police. It was the press coverage that made the Ripper and these horrible murders something new to read about. If television interviewer, Larry King, were around at that time, he would have interviewed the Ripper in a New York minute. Come to think of it, Larry was around, but he didn’t know Jack’s identity.

Jack the Ripper was not your everyday sort of sexual serial killer. He wanted the whole world to take notice of him by leaving most of his horribly slashed and mutilated victims out in plain sight. And because he was never caught, it is the mystery surrounding him that intrigues us and creates a puzzle we are tempted to solve.

Jack the Ripper Documentary Part One

What was Jack’s MO or Modus Operandi

All six known victims were prostitutes and four were killed outdoors. They varied in age (25 to 47) and appearance, and most were thought to be drunk at the time they were killed. Apparently, the Ripper grabbed his victims by their throats and strangled them until they were unconscious if not dead. No bruising on the back of the heads indicates that he lowered the bodies to the ground rather than throwing or letting them fall.

Then Jack simply cut their throats as they lay on the ground after he strangled them. This method prevented him from becoming blood stained. If his victims were already dead before their throats were cut, too much blood would not be spilled.

No sign of intercourse nor evidence of masturbation was ever detected. Usually Jack took a piece of the victim's viscera. The taking of a "trophy" is a common practice by modern sexual serial killers. The opinion of most of the surgeons who examined the bodies was that the killer had to have some degree of anatomical knowledge to do what he did. In one case he removed a kidney from the front of the body rather than from the side, and did not damage any nearby organs while doing so. In another case he removed the sexual organs with one clean stroke of the knife. Given the circumstances of the crimes (outside, often in near total darkness, keeping one eye out for the approach of others, and under extremely tight time constraints), the Ripper almost certainly would have had some experience in wielding his knife.

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Most promising of hundreds of Jack the Ripper suspects

Most promising of hundreds of Jack the Ripper suspects

Jack the Ripper Documentary Part Two

What did Jack the Ripper look like?

Was there any written record of Jack's appearance? Before you ask, I did interview all five of his reported victims – all of whom were in realty bad mutilated shape, besides being dead, you know. All were unanimous that he was of medium height and build, and wore a soft hat pulled low over his face to hide his features. He also appeared to have a full mustache but his chin was clean shaven.

I wondered why couldn’t any of them give a more detailed description of Jack? Then I realized they were being discreet. The Ripper must have asked his prostitute victims to turn around and lean against a wall or building and, as they awaited him, he strangled them from behind.

I did locate one Ripper description however which was published in a French newspaper, 'Gazette De Lausanne' on November 16, 1888. Translated from French it read:

'The police came for the first time, to receive a detailed record of the likely perpetrator of the Whitechapel crimes. It was a groom who knew (Mary Jane) Kelly who saw her return home at two hours of the morning with this individual. He is a man five feet, seven inches high, thirty-four or thirty-five years old, with an olive complexion and a black mustache curled up at the two ends. He had a soft felt hat, wore a long double coat of Astrakhan, a white collar with black tie and a horseshoe shaped pin, black leggings and button up boots and in his left waistcoat pocket a massive gold chain with a stamp in red stone. The eyes were black, very thick eyebrows, and his chin was clean-shaven.'

Sir Melville Macnaghten, Chief Constable, Scotland Yard 1853-1921

Sir Melville Macnaghten, Chief Constable, Scotland Yard 1853-1921

Montague John Druitt, Attorney and Teacher 1857-1888

Montague John Druitt, Attorney and Teacher 1857-1888

Jack the Ripper Documentary Part Three

Books about Jack the Ripper

Interviews with Police Officials

I have unearthed – no pun intended – the first senior police official to interview - Sir Melville Macnaghten, Chief Constable.

me – How are you Sir Melville?