Top Ten Questions About Jack the Ripper

The tale of Jack the ripper has spawned hundreds of theories and millions of suspects. Most people know about the ‘5 canonical victims’ with the possibility of even more murdered women. Everybody has their money on their own suspect -some of which include royals, authors and freemasons. Lots of people have their own opinion and their own personal view to the ailing mystery that has kept police officers and the general public baffled for years. So here are ten more alternate theories on the ripper case that will have your head scratching for weeks.
The Top Ten
1 Did the Ripper act alone?

Israel Schwartz was a Hungarian immigrant and described in newspaper reports as of Jewish appearance. On the 30th September at 12:45am Schwartz was walking towards Berner Street (later Henriques street) crime scene of Elizabeth Stride the rippers supposed third victim. Schwartz states he saw a man speaking to a woman and then throw her to the floor to which she then screamed 3 times. He then saw a second man standing on the opposite side of the street stood in a doorway and smoking a pipe. The man who threw the woman down called out the name 'Lipski'. Scared, Schwartz took off but finding that the second man was following him he ran towards the nearby rail way arch and lost him. Schwartz would later report this to the police and confirm at the mortuary that it was Elizabeth Stride that he had seen with the first man however he could not confirm whether or not the two men were together or separate. Nonetheless one significant thing is the use of the word 'Lipski'. As mentioned above this was the second name of the convicted Jewish murderer who was sentenced to hang only a year before. The name had now itself become an anti-Semitic insult therefore police were uncertain if the name 'Lipski' was referred to Schwartz himself or towards the other man in which it may have been his name. However if we are to assume the latter and that the men Schwartz saw were working together it begs the question were the two men working as a team with one as a look out and one as the ripper himself?

2 What was Jack the Ripper's real name?
3 Did a policeman commit the murders?

Police constable James Harvey was 33 years old and possibly the closest any police officer had come to catching the killer. At approximately 1:40am PC Harvey was walking towards Mitre Square, the scene of the crime in which Catherine Eddowes was brutally murdered. He claimed he heard nor saw anything however on his return he came across night watchman George Morris who was blowing his whistle and crying that a woman had been 'ripped up in Mitre square'. It was later found that Eddowes was sighted sometime before at about 1:35am therefore if this is correct then Harvey would have been within a whisper of the killer maybe even capturing him in the act. Interestingly Harvey was never questioned further and was suddenly dismissed in 1889 a year after the killings took place. The dismissal was listed as unknown and the reasons were never brought to light despite efforts into finding out why.

4 Do the police know who Jack the Ripper was?

In May 2011 the Metropolitan police won a legal battle to keep files detailing the investigation of the ripper case a secret. The reason was to maintain confidentially for Victorian informants. The documents were said to include four new suspects which detail over 36,000 entries between 1888 and 1912. With so much effort put into keeping these files a secret it makes us wonder if over a hundred year old informants is really the main reason to keep these files a secret or is it something closer to home that could no way be brought into the public eye. Anyone interested in the ripper killings will know some of the ludicrous suspects that have been tipped as being the ripper, one of which including Queen Victoria's nephew, Prince Albert. We could come to the conclusion that the main reason for the police to keep such files under lock and key may be something to do with a great royal cover up.

5 Did the Ripper really have mental sexual problems?
6 Was George Hutchinson more than just a hospitable witness?

George Hutchinson was a local man who lived in the East end therefore knowing the area well. Hutchinson is notable because he gave a heavy and detailed witness statement where he described a man who was with Mary Jane Kelly on the night she was supposedly murdered. Hutchinson described everything from the colour of the man's hair to the buttons on his boots. Obviously being of some importance to the police the leading detective at the time, Frederick Abberline interviewed him intensely and seemed satisfied with his account therefore releasing him. Hutchinson stuck around and it was said that the police had walked with him around Whitechapel in search of the man he had described. Then as quickly as he had appeared Hutchinson disappeared with only rumors of his whereabouts popping up somewhere years later. If Hutchinson did indeed describe the ripper then it is the most detailed account we have so far, however some people say that Hutchinson himself was the ripper and was in fact trying to describe the complete polar opposite of himself to avoid capture.

7 Did Jack use the newly built underground tunnels to escape?

There have been thousands of theories to how Jack the ripper made his infamous escapes, everything from paranormal activity to blending into the crowd however a new idea has newly arisen in that Jack used the newly built tunnels to escape capture and disappear into thin air. If we are to look at the times the victims of the 'canonical five' were killed we can see that all five were murdered after midnight therefore making the tunnels empty and unguarded. This would certainly make sense if we look at the murder scene of first victim Mary Ann Nichols which is only a 5 minute walk from Whitechapel station still standing today.

8 Who was Francis Tumblety?

Francis Tumblety was a Canadian quack doctor ousted from his native homeland and was known to be in London at the time of the murders. Tumblety fits many requirements of what we now know as the 'Jack the ripper killer profile. ' He had a supposed hatred of women and prostitutes and was also said to have a tendency to be violent. He had definite anatomical knowledge and knew his way around the female body. Tumblety was also most likely the Batty street lodger with numerous reports connecting him with the house and the area. The police obviously agreed and pursued him when Tumblety fled across the pond back to the USA but unfortunately were unlucky in their search. However, despite the many things that put Tumblety in the frame there are also many doubters. Tumblety was arrested for indecency with another male whilst in London therefore if we are to refer to the 'Jack the ripper killer profile' Tumbletys homosexuality would rule him out as a suspect due to the philosophy that homosexual serial killers are more likely to attack male victims rather than female.

9 How was Jack the Ripper's identity unknown?
10 Did Mary Jane Kelly really die that night?

Mary Jane Kelly is considered by many to be the fifth and final victim. She was so badly disfigured that it was said the Ripper had finally reached the end of his madness and had unleashed a frenzied attack before disappearing into the night forever. However, due to the overwhelming abuse of her injuries authorities had very much difficulty identifying her partly because her face had been sliced and her ears cut off. Kelly had been living at 13 Millers court an offbeat slum on the notorious Dorset Street once named the most dangerous street in London. It was here where the murder had taken place and here where the authorities had come to the conclusion that the mangled body laying before them was indeed Kelly. However one Caroline Maxwell states she saw Kelly on the morning after the murder had supposedly taken place looking a little worse for wear. Apparently Kelly was hungover and was throwing up in the gutter on the corner of Dorset Street. Mrs Maxwell asked for her wellbeing and suggested she have a paint of ale to clear things up. Caroline Maxwell was a respectable lady and had no reason to lie unlike previous witnesses who were enjoying the limelight and hysteria the ripper murders had brought. Another story suggests that Kelly returned to her lodgings early that morning and found the gruesome body of her friend who had been staying with her, seizing her chance to escape prostitution and a violent relationship with Joseph Barnett (a later ripper suspect) she ran away and changed identity for a new life elsewhere.

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