Lawrence Mercantile > Killers > Jack The Ripper
Jack the Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England in the late 19th century. The name is taken from a letter sent to the Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer.
The victims were women allegedly earning income as prostitutes. The murders were perpetrated in public or semi-public places at night or towards the early morning. The victim's throat was cut, after which the body was mutilated. Theories suggest the victims were first strangled in order to silence them, which also explained the reported lack of blood at the crime scenes. The removal of internal organs from three of the victims led some officials at the time of the murders to propose that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge.
Newspapers, whose circulation had been growing during this era, bestowed widespread and enduring notoriety on the killer owing to the savagery of the attacks and the failure of the police in their attempts to capture the murderer, sometimes missing him at the crime scenes by mere minutes.
Due to the lack of a confirmed identity for the killer, the legends surrounding the murders have become a combination of genuine historical research, folklore and exploitation. Over the years, many authors, historians, and amateur detectives have proposed theories regarding the identity (or identities) of the killer and his victims.