Morbid History : Jack the Ripper

Warning!!!  Graphic content!!!  This blog contains graphic images of Ripper Murders.  If this offends you please leave now.  Thank you.

…or the Leather Apron…or the White Chapel Murderer.  Whatever you call him he was unique. (Leather Apron…where did that come from?  Anyone?)  During the foggy soaked nights in London’s White Chapel district in 1888 a series of grisly murders took place with a sensationalism that has never been equaled .  A sensationalism that is still intriguing even after 100 years.  There is so much interest in the Jack the Ripper cases that there is even a term to describe the case study: Ripperology.

The international notoriety that is generally associated with Jack is accredited to the media treatment of the case and the entirely gruesome murders themselves.

The taunting Jack would (supposedly, no one still really knows) send letters to Scotland Yard mocking the investigators and sending “gifts” such as an ear chunk or liver.  For those out there who don’t understand the popularity of Jack or why so many call him the greatest serial killer of all time when there are so many other more qualified candidates to consider such as Gacey or the BTK please note that Jack was never caught…or identified for that matter.  Jack will forever be a shadow in the corner of the dark ally with no name, no face, completely invisible.

It is also important to note the small facts. Not all murders are attributed to Jack.  In order to be a Ripper victim there had to be certain criteria.

1.  A female prostitute (he really did love the ladies)

2.  Had to have had your throat cut.

3.  Had to be mutilated in some way or fashion.

4.  Some kind of major organ removal had to be performed.  I’m talking full on out of body type stuff.

5.  And though he loved the ladies he still managed to find time out of death and mutilation and removal of the internal organs to slash and disfigure the facial features.  He was a stickler for details.

With that said, there were only 5 true Ripper victims in 1888 and none since.  Though there were many posers (or so they say) none were connected back to Jack.  So now how about the motives!

First off, some of the most plausible motives deal with, of course, sex (the victims were prostitutes) or the unfortunately sad lack thereof.

Next it was the idea of a surgeon who wanted to know anatomy (the cuts used just had to be professional yeah?).  I say he should have found himself a Burke and Hare for that kind of mess.

And then there was the butchers or cattle slaughterers all of which didn’t really add up.  They did that stuff for a living so what was the point?

Another thought was a religious manic who saw death more honorable than a life under the lamppost, yet how extreme! Why wouldn’t they just kill her instead of disemboweling her?  Definite overkill.

Then it was an embodiment of a socially neglected loner. I’m not even going there.  That is just emo.

Soon after the fifth victim was discovered, the killings stopped…or at least the Ripper killings did, and the rest is a legend.  Why did it end?  Well, Jack could have:

1. Died

2. Been put in prison

3. Been institutionalized (which is just prison for “very special people”)

4. Or emigrated to America…so we could have him all to ourselves!

So that’s it!  Not really.  The fact that Jack was never identified or caught adds a flare of mystery to the case.  Why did he do it?  What was his game?  Well he could have been anyone really.  The most popular belief came from what I consider to be a likely place.

During the hippie sixties Jack went from a nightmarish creature lurking to harm the innocent to a suave aristocrat in a top hat that basically represented the Establishment. From this came the Romantic idea of Jack and the fictional fantasy perverting the non-fictional world.  Soon his case was studied for genuine historic research which no other serial killer can confess.

All in all, the case of Jack the Ripper is compelling in it’s lack of facts and it’s plethora of mystery that proves one definitive fact:  No one can be like Jack!



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