Jack the Ripper is the name that has been given to an unidentified serial killer responsible for murders occurring in the impoverished Whitechapel section of London in 1888. "Jack the Ripper" became the first internationally known serial killer. The name Jack the Ripper comes from the signature of a letter, dated 25 September 1888, and received by the Central News Agency on 27 September 1888.
There were 11 murders of prostitutes in the Whitechapel area from 1888 to 1891, known as the Whitechapel Murders. Five of these are commonly identified as the Jack the Ripper murders. Those of Mary Ann Nichols at Buck's Row, Whitechapel, on Friday 31 August 1888, Annie Chapman at Rear Yard at 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields on Saturday 8 September 1888, Elizabeth Stride at the yard at side of 40 Berner Street, St Georges-in-the-East on Sunday 30 September 1888, Catherine Eddowes at Mitre Square, Aldgate, City of London on Sunday 30 September 1888 and Mary Jane Kelly at 13 Miller's Court, 26 Dorset Street Spitalfields on Friday 9 November 1888.
All Jack the Ripper murders took place in a one square mile area of the East End and the City of London surrounding Whitechapel. The hunt for Jack the Ripper caused sensation and panic in London. The notoriety of the murders became international, appearing in newspapers from Europe to the Americas. Even at an early stage, the newspapers were carrying theories as to the identity of the killer, including doctors, slaughterers, sailors, and lunatics of every description.
BRITISH LAW ENFORCEMENT DOCUMENTS
The British law enforcement documents date from August 1888 to November 1888, and February 1894. Documents includes: Reports on the murders and detailed descriptions of the murder investigations of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, and Catherine Eddowes, examples of mail received claiming to be from Jack the Ripper, Witness Statement from George Hutchinson, who is believed to be the person who got the best look at Jack the Ripper.
"Dear Boss" letter dated September 25, 1888. This letter was received by the Central News Agency on September 27, 1888. The letter claims responsibility for the murders and is signed "Jack the Ripper." This is the first use of the name Jack the Ripper. Scotland Yard was never able to definitely prove that the letter was written by the murderer. Some at Scotland Yard believe it was the work of a journalist seeking publicity. The letter was received three days before the September 30, 1888 murders of Stride and Eddowes. In the letter the author writes, "The next job I do I shall clip ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly." Because part of Eddowes right ear was cut off, some believe the letter was written by the killer.
"Saucy Jack" Postcard - October 1, 1888. A postcard sent to the Central News Agency signed Jack the Ripper. The postcard mentions the "Dear Boss" letter dated September 25 and the "double event." The "double event" is believed to be a reference to the September 30 murders of Stride and Eddowes. Because the postcard mentions the "Dear Boss" letter which has not yet been published, it is believed to be from the same person. In the message on the postcard the name Saucy Jack is used.
"From Hell" letter sent to George Lusk - October 16, 1888. This letter, along with half a human kidney, was received by George Lusk on October 16, 1888. After Catherine Eddowes was murdered, her left kidney was removed. George Lusk was the Chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, a group of citizens who searched for the killer. The publicity he received due to his role caused him to receive many crank "Jack the Ripper" letters. This letter has the highest consensus among Jack the Ripper - Whitechapel Murders experts to possibly actually be from the killer.
The Macnaghten memo. This report by Chief Constable Sir Melville Macnaghten has had the greatest influence over common knowledge of the Jack the Ripper murders. This report was not publicly available until 1959 and the complete report was not made available for viewing and reproduction until 2002. The report sets the number of Jack the Ripper murders at five. It names Macnaghten's three prime suspects.
In 1988, one-hundred years after the Jack the Riper/Whitechapel Murders, the FBI applied its modern knowledge to the case. A seven-page criminal investigative analysis was produced by the top criminal profiler at the FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. This analysis report addresses: Victimology or profile of victims; medical examiner's findings; crime and crime scene analysis; communications allegedly received from Jack the Ripper; offender traits and characteristics; pre- and post-offense behavioral patterns; investigative and/or proactive techniques; and interview/interrogation suggestions. This report not only sheds light on the Jack the Ripper - Whitechapel Murders, it also acts as a primer for analysis of serial killers.