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Throughout the years, serial killers have established themselves in society as bloodthirsty psychopaths, always on the hunt for weak, measly prey. Murderers like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, The Zodiac Killer, and other infamous serial killers and their stories have shocked people from around the globe. But there was one case that still perplexes people to this day. Over one hundred years ago, an odd murder mystery in London hit the town and its people with terror. At least five women were found dead near the Whitechapel community, mutilated in gruesome ways. It is said that “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”(Jack 1). The murderer would do so much as send a victim’s kidney to the police. There is not a definite number of how many they killed, but there are at least five identifiable victims. His killings would last between August 31, 1888 through November 9, 1888.
On Friday, August 31, 1888, the believed to be first victim was found. A 42 year old prostitute by the name of Mary Ann Nicholls was found dead in an alleyway on Bucks Row. Later to find out, most of the murderer’s targets were prostitutes. Her throat had been slit and her face was blackened with bruises. Investigators found her body to be slice dopen and her stomach had been hacked at. She was discovered at 3:40 a.m. by a carter named Charles Cross. After retrieving an ambulance, police stated that upon closer examination, “the deceased body and legs were still warm, although her hands and wrists were quite cold. This led him to surmise that she could not have been dead for more than half an hour”. After her body was taken to the morgue, investigators took a closer look at the woman’s body. They noticed that the back of the lady’s dress was drenched with blood, which he assumed had kept running down from the neck wound. Police likewise discovered a mass of coagulated blood underneath the body, which was approximately six inches in range and which had started to keep running towards the drain. The moderately slight quantity of blood found at the scene, combined with the way that nobody in the region had heard a sound would lead to the theory that the homicide had been done somewhere else and the body essentially dumped where it was found. Underneath her blood recolored garments, a profound cut ran right along the victim’s stomach, she had been gutted. On September 8, 1888, another victim’s life was taken by the mysterious perpetrator. Annie Chapman, aged 47, was found lying in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street, mangled near the stairs and the surrounding wooden fence. Upon a closer look, a scarf was cinched around her neck, her hands and face were painted with blood. Investigators believed that she was struggling and fighting for her throat not to be slit. The left arm was put over the left bosom. Her tongue was very swollen, up to the point where the reached past her teeth, but not past her lips. The throat was dissevered profoundly, just like in the first case. September 30, 1888, yet another body is found, belonging to Elizabeth Stride, aged 45. At 1 am in Dutsfield’s Yard on Berner Street, she was found dead, with a two inch deep gash across her neck, no surprise. Police noticed that the lady was wearing a check silk scarf, the bow of which was gone to one side and pulled firmly. At the examination, they expressed that he had shaped the assumption that the criminal had first grabbed hold of the back of the silk scarf, and pulled his target onto the ground. They could not decide whether the lady’s throat was cut while she was standing or after she had been pulled back. When the murderer had cut her throat, cutting through the windpipe, she would not have had the option to shout out for help, and would have seeped to death inside about a moment and a half. Just 40 minutes after Elizabeth Stride’s discovery, yet another murdered victim was spotted in Mitre Square. Catherine Eddows, 46, was found lying on her spine in a puddle of blood, her garments hurled over her abdomen. City detectives saw nothing, the murderer blended into the night. Although, police find a torn apron along Goulston Street, with blood on it, suggesting that he had wiped his blade off with the piece of fabric. The only odd thing about this finding is that it means that the murderer walked past several police officers without being noticed on his escape. The last of the five canonical victims was found on November 9, 1888, Mary Kelly. She was the youngest of victims, only at the age of 25 when she crossed paths with fate. She was found in her own room in Millers Court, off of Dorset Street. The rent collector, who found her, stated “Mary’s throat had been cut, her nose and breasts cut off and dumped on a table. Her entrails were draped over a picture frame. The body had been skinned and gutted and her heart lay on the table”. As the killings progressively got worse, the citizens of London had more questions than answers.
Who was this mystery man? The media started referring to the murderer as “Jack the Ripper” once he sent letters to different newspaper companies, police, and other forms of publicity. At the bottom of each and every letter, there was always a signature from “Jack the Ripper.” With further research, investigators slim it down to three main suspects: Montague John Druitt, Carl Feigenbaum, and Aaron Kosminski. Druitt was an Oxford-instructed man from a ‘genuinely’ decent family, although some accepted the fact that he was ‘explicitly crazy.’ He was conceived in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, and during his lifetime he once filled in as an associate schoolmaster in Blackheath, London. In spite of the fact that there may not be any solid evidence against him, the way that the Jack the Ripper murders in London’s East End finished after Druitt committed suicide was much more than just suspicious. On November 9, 1888, seven weeks after the homicide of Mary Jane Kelly, Druitt’s body was discovered drifting in the Thames. Police accepted that the reason for death was a suicide, and that he had been at the base of the waterway for in any event a few weeks, around the hour of Mary Jane Kelly’s homicide. Another imaginable suspect behind London’s Jack the Ripper murders was 54 year old German shipper mariner Carl Feigenbaum. Feigenbaum was known to be a maniac who admitted to mangling ladies, and even his very own attorney accepted that his customer was Jack the Ripper. Feigenbaum passed by numerous nicknames during his lifetime, and was referred to work on boats that had been docked close Whitechapel. Records demonstrate that Feigenbaum was working in Whitechapel on each and every date of the five murder cases in London’s East End, and he and his colleagues were frequently observed at the close by whorehouses also. After Feigenbaum emigrated to America at some point around 1890, he was indicted for killing a lady by the name of Julianna Hoffman, and was sentenced to death by the electric chair. Specialists additionally expressed that there were ‘striking similarities’ between the Jack the Ripper murders and the killing of Hoffman. The third most likely suspect was Polish barber, Aaron Kominski. In 1881, the Warsaw Pogrom was a brutal mob against Jewish individuals following the death of Tsar Alexander II. Kosminski was only sixteen when he saw people being butchered like animals. The family initially fled to Germany before settling in England. His dad was a tailor in Poland, and it is presumed that he began working at a hospice, or that he was a stylist. Some believe that he maintained the two sources of income attempting to help his family in England. Since his father worked in a hospital, it is believed that Kosminski had some anatomical knowledge of the human body. For years, stylists were known as ‘barber surgeons’. Stylists promoted with a pole containing a red stripe, to imply that individuals could go there for the odd blend of phlebotomy, dentistry, medical procedures, and hair styles. At the time that Kosminski worked as a stylist, the convention of hair stylist medical procedure was no longer a thing. Be that as it may, he would have had to know in any event where the main blood vessels were on the neck, as to be cautious when shaving men. Kosminski would have claimed a staggeringly sharp edge, which would have been equipped for cutting substance. He may have likewise taken in extra medicinal aptitudes from his dad. Aaron Kosminski was taken to ‘The Seaside Home’, which is currently accepted to be a police recovering home in Brighton used to question suspects. Nevertheless, police cannot keep on holding a suspect in care except if charges are brought up against them. Without the bystander evidence from ‘the fellow Jew’, they could not indict and in the long run hang Kosminski for being Jack the Ripper. Despite the fact that Kosminski was never placed in prison, some would contend that a lifetime in a crazy haven would be a similarly horrendous, if not more terrible, punishment. Shannon Quinn states that “While living in the refuge, Kosminski lost a colossal amount of weight. His brain slipped into dementia until was not able to tell where he was, and ended up lethargic. Aaron Kosminski passed on in 1919, when he was 53 years of age”.
Although this mystery seems unsolvable, recent studies show that there was actual DNA found at a crime scene. Seminal fluid and blood was found on the shawl of Catherine Eddows, Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim. A century later, forensic scientists test that the semen is a positive match to Aaron Kosminski’s DNA, the prime suspect at the time. According to N’dea Yancey-Bragg, “Researchers compared fragments of mitochondrial DNA… to samples from living relatives of Eddowes and Kosminski and found they matched those of Kosminski’s relative”(Yancey-Bragg 1). Believe it or not, even with the DNA evidence, it still is not a definite closed case. Even in the modern era, DNA tests are not always set in stone. DNA tests just show that the person was there at some given time. Forensic scientists actually are not allowed to say “He is the culprit,” but instead, must use language like “maybe” or “this might be his DNA.” However, it is strange that his semen was found on this woman’s shawl. Were they together that night or was she dancing with the devil?
Still, one of the greatest conspiracy theories in time and one of the worst serial killer cases in the world has now become one of the most interesting and perplexing mysteries that intrigues a fairly large amount of people. There are many Jack the Ripper enthusiasts who try and think outside the box and put their own story together, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Others may just be into the murder cases just for the gory details of the women’s demises. But no one can really say who Jack the Ripper was because now he or they have been dead for decades, making this case really up to the reader. Nevertheless, the gory tale of Jack the Ripper will be told for generations.
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