Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper was an infamous serial killer in the East End of London, in 1888. He killed prostitutes in the Whitechapel area of London. The Ripper case is famous because its perpetrator remains unidentified; even today, it remains one of the world’s greatest unsolved cases.
Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols was the first victim. On August 31, she was killed and mutilated. Annie Chapman was killed just over a week later. Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were killed at the end of September. Mary Jane Kelly was killed in November. These five murders are the only five confirmed Ripper murders, although more are theorized.
It was believed that he was a man with some experience with butchery or medicine, based on his exacting brutalization of his victims’ bodies. Several individuals were arrested and held on suspicions of their involvement in the crime, but no conclusive evidence was ever found.
Part of what fascinates the world today about the Ripper murders is the classicality of the mystery – it is an open-and-shut murder case, but it lacks one element: a solution. He killed five women for apparently no reason, then disappeared, never to kill again.
Even today, London profits off of the Ripper phenomenon, with guided walks of murder sites and Ripper memorabilia abundant. Many books have been written on this topic, and there are several movies based on the lore of Jack the Ripper.
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