Jack the Ripper terrorized London in 1888, killing at least five women and mutilating their bodies in an unusual manner, indicating that the killer had a substantial knowledge of human anatomy.
The Jack the Ripper murders occurred in the East End of London in 1888 and, although the Whitechapel Murderer was only a threat to a very small section of the community in a relatively small part of London, the crimes had a huge impact on society as a whole.
Some dozen murders between 1888 and 1892 have been speculatively attributed to Jack the Ripper, but five are considered canonical: Mary Ann Nichols (found August 31), Annie Chapman (found September 8), Elizabeth Stride (found September 30), Catherine Eddowes (found September 30), and Mary Jane Kelly (found November 9). All but one of Jack the Ripper’s victims were killed while soliciting customers on the street. In each instance the victim’s throat was cut, and the body was usually mutilated in a manner indicating that the murderer had at least some knowledge of human anatomy.
Adding to the mystery of the affair is the fact that several letters were sent by the killer to the London Metropolitan Police Service, also known as the Scotland Yard, taunting officers about his gruesome activities and speculating on murders to come. Various theories about Jack the Ripper’s identity have been produced over the past several decades, which include claims accusing the famous Victorian painter Walter Sickert, a Polish migrant and even the grandson of Queen Victoria. Since 1888, more than 100 suspects have been named, contributing to widespread folklore and ghoulish entertainment surrounding the mystery.
A trail of blood led the police to a doorway nearby where a message had been chalked. It read, “The Jewes are not the men to be blamed for nothing”. For some inexplicable reason, the head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Charles Warren ordered it to be rubbed out! So what could have been a valuable clue was destroyed.
Who was Jack the Ripper?
Aaron Kosminski is now the leading suspect of this on-going case. Records show he was arrested and detained in a workhouse in the 1890’s under claims of violent behavior with a knife. He was soon transferred to an asylum and then moved to another one. He was known to hear voices and was oddly paranoid about accepting food from others.
A forensic investigation published in Journal of Forensic Sciences has identified the killer as Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber and prime suspect at the time.
Kosminski was previously named as a suspect over 100 years ago and once again in a 2014 book by British businessman and Ripper researcher Russell Edwards. But the latest finding marks the first time that Edwards’ DNA evidence has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, according to the magazine Science.
Assistant Chief Constable Sir Melville Macnaghten documented suspects he questioned to be the Ripper. Kosminski was one of these suspects and was described as low-class with homicidal tendencies and a hatred for women.
Aaron Kosminski would spend just over three years at Colney Hatch Asylum, where he was described at various times as being, “extremely deluded and morose,” “rather difficult to deal with on account of the dominant character of his delusions,” “Incoherent, apathetic, excitable,” “Indolent, but quiet, and clean in habits,” “dull & vacant”.
On 19th April, 1894, he was transferred to Leavesden Asylum, where he would spend the remaining twenty-five years of his life, dying there on the 24th of March, 1919.