Jack The Ripper Essay Research Paper In

Jack The Ripper Essay, Research Paper

In the year 1888, five murders took place with in the period of three months in the East End streets of Whitechapel, London. Murders here were frequent, and often went un-talked about. However, these murders stirred England s social conscious. The person behind these crimes was Jack the Ripper. The impact caused by this lunatic on the community was so great, not only because of whom he killed, but how he killed them.

In the 1880 s, the Whitechapel district of London was a seething slum of poverty and crime. Not much amazed the people that lived there. However, the murders committed by the unknown psychopath, Jack the Ripper, brought into stark relief the social rot lying near the heart of the Great British Empire. (Editors of Time-Life, 93) Each of the Ripper s victims was strangled to death. Then he would slit their throats from ear to ear. Next he would start his other mutilations. He would rip the victim s body open in a sexually motivated way, although never engaging in intercourse. Usually the Ripper would take a piece of the victim s viscera. By the way he removed the organs, the clean stroke of his knife, and given the circumstances of his crimes, Jack the Ripper most certainly would have had some degree of anatomical knowledge. (Victims, 2)

The number of victims attributed to Jack the Ripper ranges between five and fifteen. Nevertheless, police have only confirmed five. All of the women preyed on by the assassin were potential alcoholics. Each one, with the exception of Mary Jane Kelly, were in their forties. Most had prior arrests for drunkenness and prostitution. (O Dell, 171) The murders took place with in a square mile of each other, and the time of death was between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Each murder occurred on a weekend. (Victims, 1)

The first victim to fall into the hands of Jack the Ripper was Mary Ann Nichols, also known as Polly, on August 31,1888. Her body was found in gateway leading to horse stables. (Editor s Time-Life, 93) Earlier that night she was turned away from her doss-house because she couldn t afford the four pence she needed to stay there. Two hours later her body was discovered, sustaining horrific injuries. Her throat had been cut down to the spinal column, and her abdomen ripped open exposing her intestines. (Qtd. Wilkes, 425)

Polly was forty-two when she was killed. She had been the estranged wife of a printer. She had given birth to five children, that was, before her husband eloped with one of her friends. After that Mary Ann became a drunken prostitute spending her final days living in the White House , a doss house on Flower and Dean Street. Her body was buried in the Ilford cemetery on Sept. 6,1888. (Victims, 1)

The next person to fall victim of Jack the Ripper was Annie Chapman. Her body was uncovered in a backyard on Hanbury Street on Sept. 8,1888. Her throat had been ferociously severed, her abdomen laid open. The womb, along with other parts of the vagina and bladder, were extracted and carried away by the murderer. (Qtd. Wilkes, 425) What little contents she had in her pockets were carefully arranged around her feet. It was this slaying that imposed panic upon Whitechapel. (Wilkes, 426)

Before her death, Annie had given birth to two daughters, one of which had died in 1882. She also had a son who was crippled. Dark Annie was undernourished and

suffered from brain and lung diseases that would have claimed her life if Jack s knife hadn t. At age 47, she wondered the streets alone after her husband s death. She was now living off of immoral earnings, and selling matches and flowers. Chapman was buried in secret at Manor Park on Sept. 14,1888. (Victims, 1)

Elizabeth Stride was the third victim of Jack the Ripper. Her body was found on Sept. 30, 1888. Her throat had been cut like the others, however there were no other wounds. Police believe this is because the eradicator was interrupted. (Wilkes, 428)

Long Liz was born in Sweden in 1843. After becoming a registered prostitute, she moved to London in 1866. There she married a carpenter named John Stride. Together they kept a coffee shop prior to their marriage separation in 1882. After that Liz had eight convictions for drunkenness before her fatal appointment with Jack the Ripper. She was buried in Pauper s Grave in an East London cemetery at age 44. (Victims, 2)

On the same night as Elizabeth, Sept. 30, 1888, Catherine Eddowes became a martyr of Jack the Ripper. Her body suffered from severe abdomen injuries. She was ripped open like a pig in the market. (Wilkes, 427). Her left kidney, along with part of her womb, had been cut out and taken away. (Wilkes, 427)

Kate was born in 1842, in Wolverhampton, England. She went to the London s Bermondsey district at age two. There she met Thomas Conway, a pensioner who fathered her three children. The couple separated in 1880, due to their habitual drinking. Kate spent her final days residing in a doss-house on Flower and Dean Street. Her body

was buried in an unmarked grave in Ilford on Oct. 8,1888. Her burial was witnessed by hoards of people watching from the gates. (Victims, 2)

Mary Kelly was the final victim generally attributed to the Ripper. She was murdered in her room on Nov. 9, 1888. Her body was found, appallingly mutilated, lying naked on the bed. Her throat had been severed, and her face was hacked beyond recognition. (Qtd. Wilkes, 429) Her breasts were cut off, and her abdomen lay open like the others. Her thighs had been stripped away, and placed on the bedside tables. (Qtd. Wilkes, 429) Her heart had been cut out, and till this day has never been recovered. She was the most brutally disfigured of all the victims. (Wilkes, 429)

Black Mary was unlike the other victims. At 25 years old, she was still young and attractive. She had lived in Wales, and was married to a collier. However, he was tragically killed in pit disaster. After that, Mary had become a prostitute and moved to south London. Fair Emma began staying at various houses around Dorset Street. Her body was found at Miller s Court, and was buried at Walthamstow R.C. cemetery on Nov.19. 1888. (Victims, 3)

The mystery behind the infamous Jack the Ripper will almost certainly go unsolved forever. His reasons for choosing these despicable and defenseless women may be perhaps the biggest anonymity of all. There are many possibilities and theories to why he chose these ladies. Personally, I believe the murderer was dealing with his own pathological hatred towards women due to his own sexual nature, homosexuality.

Works Cited

Editor s of Time-Life Books True Crime Serial Killers, Virginia: Alexandria 1993

O Dell, Robin The New Murders Who s Who, U.S.A.: Dorset Press 1989

The Victims , http://www.simons.edu, 1999

Wilkes, Roger The Mammoth Book of Unsolved Crimes New York: Carroll &

Graf Publishers, Inc. 1999


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