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Jack the ripper

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Written on 3:09 AM by Mrudula

Jack the Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer[2] (or killers) active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England in the autumn of 1888. The name is taken from a letter sent to the London Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer

Among the eleven murders actively investigated by the police, five are almost universally agreed upon as having been the work of a single serial killer. These are known collectively as the "canonical five" victims:

    * Mary Ann Nichols (maiden name Mary Ann Walker, nicknamed "Polly"), born c. 26 August 1845, and killed on Friday, 31 August 1888. Nichols' body was discovered by a man called Charles Cross at about 3:40 in the morning on the ground in front of a gated stable entrance in Buck's Row. The throat was deeply severed by two cuts, and about the lower part of the abdomen there was a deep and jagged wound partially ripping it open. There were also several incisions running across the abdomen, and three or four similar cuts on the right side caused by the same knife used violently and downwards. Nichols was 43 years old at the time of her death, but was described as looking some years younger than her age.

    * Annie Chapman (maiden name Eliza Ann Smith, nicknamed "Dark Annie"), born c. September 1841 and killed on Saturday, 8 September 1888. The throat was, as in the case of Mary Ann Nichols, severed by two cuts, one deeper than the other. The abdomen was ripped entirely open and the womb had been removed. Chapman was forty-seven years old, in poor health and destitute at the time of her death.

    * Elizabeth Stride (maiden name Elisabeth Gustafsdotter, nicknamed "Long Liz"), born c. 27 November 1843 in Sweden, and killed on Sunday, 30 September 1888. There was one clear-cut incision on the neck. The cause of death was massive blood loss from the nearly severed main artery on the left side. The cut through the tissues on the right side was more superficial, and tapered off below the right jaw. The fact that there also were no mutilations made to the abdomen has left some uncertainty as to the identity of Elizabeth's murderer.

    * Catherine Eddowes (used the aliases "Kate Conway" and "Mary Ann Kelly,"), born c. 14 April 1842, and killed on Sunday, 30 September 1888, on the same day as the previous victim, Elizabeth Stride. She was forty-six years old when she died. Her body was found in Mitre Square, in the City of London. The throat was, as in the former two cases, severed by two cuts; the abdomen ripped open by a long, deep and jagged wound. The left kidney and the major part of the womb had been abstracted.

    * Mary Jane Kelly (called herself "Marie Jeanette Kelly" after a trip to Paris, nicknamed "Ginger"), reportedly born c. 1863 in either the city of Limerick or County Limerick, Munster, Ireland and killed on Friday, 9 November 1888. She was about twenty-five years old when she was killed. Kelly's gruesomely mutilated body was discovered lying on the bed in the single room where she lived at 13 Miller's Court, off Dorset Street, Spitalfields. The throat had been severed down to the spine, and the abdomen had been virtually emptied of its organs. The heart was missing. The location of the crime is now a service road for offices and an NCP car park.

The large number of horrific attacks against women during this era adds some uncertainty as to exactly how many victims were killed by the same man. Most experts point to deep throat slashes, mutilations to the victim's abdomen and genital area, removal of internal organs and progressive facial mutilations as the distinctive features of Jack the Ripper's modus operandi.

Six other Whitechapel murders were investigated by the Metropolitan Police at the time, two of which occurred before the "canonical five" and four after. Some of these have been attributed, by certain figures involved in the investigation or by later authors, to Jack the Ripper.

These two murders occurred before the "canonical five":

    * Emma Elizabeth Smith, born c. 1843, was attacked on Osborn Street, Whitechapel 3 April 1888, and a blunt object was inserted into her vagina. According to Dr. G.H. Hillier, attending surgeon at the London Hospital, the injuries indicated use of great force, causing a rupture of the peritoneum and other internal organs, and the penetration of the peritoneum, producing peritonitis, was in his opinion the cause of death.Emma Smith survived the attack and managed to walk back to her lodging house with the injuries. Friends brought her to a hospital where she told police that she was attacked by two or three men, one of whom was a teenager. She fell into a coma and died on 5 April 1888.

    * Martha Tabram born c. 7 May 1849, and killed on 7 August 1888. She had a total of 39 stab wounds. Of the non-canonical Whitechapel murders, Tabram is named most often as another possible Ripper victim, owing to the evident lack of obvious motive, the geographical and periodic proximity to the canonical attacks, and the remarkable savagery of the attack. The main difficulty with including Tabram is that the killer used a somewhat different modus operandi.

These four murders happened after the "canonical five":

    * Rose Mylett, born c. 1862 and died on 20 December 1888. She was reportedly strangled "by a cord drawn tightly round the neck," though some investigators believed that she had accidentally suffocated herself on the collar of her dress while in a drunken stupor. Her body was found in Clarke's Yard, High Street, Poplar.
     
    * Alice McKenzie (nicknamed "Clay Pipe" Alice and sometimes used the alias Alice Bryant), a prostitute, born c. 1849 and killed on 17 July 1889. She reportedly died from "severance of the left carotid artery," but several minor bruises and cuts were found on the body. Her body was found in Castle Alley, Whitechapel. Police Commissioner James Monro initially believed this to be a Ripper murder. Evans and Rumbelow suggest that the unknown murderer tried to make it look like a Ripper killing to deflect suspicion from himself.[11]

    * "The Pinchin Street Torso" - a headless and legless torso of a woman found under a railway arch in Pinchin Street, Whitechapel on 10 September 1889.

    * Frances Coles (also known as Frances Coleman, Frances Hawkins and nicknamed "Carrotty Nell"), born c. 1865 and killed on 13 February 1891. Minor wounds on the back of the head suggest that she was thrown violently to the ground before her throat was cut.

- Munnu

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