The mystery of “Jack the Ripper” still lingers to this very day; the recounting of his murderous deeds, to the various speculative theories, and of course, the fact that he managed to it while evading the authorities.
Despite a seemingly endless ream of documents which shed light upon his atrocities, it would seem that we are still completely in the dark. Who was the man behind the murders? What was his motivation –pleasure perhaps? Would he try and justify is actions if he were alive today? And would he invariably be the same jack? These questions along with a host of others are what this article is going to attempt to uncover. Who was the real Jack behind the notorious legend that is Jack the Ripper!?
The field of (murderous) play
To build up an accurate picture of our elusive killer we need to get a better sense of the historical context in which he roamed. By better understanding the timeframe, we can as a result really gain an insight into how jack probably lived and possibly what motivated him.
A number of sources depict the East End in 1888 as a place of “deplorable squalor,” rife with the putrid stench of death and decay. The gap between rich and poor was comparable to that of heaven and earth. This shockingly grim reality came with the added trauma of unemployment and premature death!
With these facts in mind we now know that 1888 was a time of great disparity, dissolution and death. Although at this stage, it would be a complete stab in the dark (pun intended) as to which side of the poverty line our killer stands on.
Clues of the kill#1
Suspected of killing anywhere between 5-18 women (the majority of which were prostitutes), inferred that he may’ve regarded prostitutes as a lesser form of human life. Mary Ann Nichols generally considered Jack’s first victim, unearthed vital clues into the method of jack’s madness. The autopsy determined that Nichols must’ve been killed with a long-bladed knife used to dramatic effect. It also suggested that the killer was left-handed.
Thus beginning a string of horrific murders……
Clues of the kill#2
The 2nd documented victim of Jack the ripper was Annie Chapman on the 8th September. It was discerned that a sharp bladed weapon was once again the object of choice. The autopsy reported somewhat similar injuries to that of Mary Ann Nichols. It also indicated that the killer possessed knowledge of an anatomical nature.
The fact that Jack the ripper possessed anatomical skills, may’ve suggested that he could’ve come a technical profession, perhaps a doctor or a butcher? Such vocations would require a certain degree of patience, confidence and a precision. Could Jack the ripper be someone in a position of power? If so, this would suggest that it he was financially secure and wasn’t motivated by money. Did he think was doing the East End a greater service – saving lives by day and cleaning up the streets of prostitutes by night?
As much as discovering that our killer had a thing for sharp knifes it still posed more questions than answered. Unbeknownst to London, Annie Chapman’s death was just the quiet before the bloody storm.
To be continued…
Richard Cobb – has written 208 posts on this site.
Richard Cobb is a industry expert on everything Jack The Ripper, he is also the founding partner of The Jack The Ripper Tour which has become extremely successful over the last 3 years.