Boydell Brewers banner

The Hunt for Jack the Ripper

William D. Rubinstein reviews the achievements of the Ripperologists and considers the arguments surrounding the so-called Ripper Diaries.

One of a series of images from the Illustrated London News for October 13, 1888 carrying the overall caption, "With the Vigilance Committee in the East End". This specific image is entitled "A Suspicious Character".The five prostitutes were stabbed to death in Whitechapel between August 31st and November 9th, 1888, always late at night. Then, for unknown reasons, the killings stopped. Each of the women – Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols (August 31st, 1888), Annie Chapman (September 8th), Elizabeth Stride and Catharine Eddowes (both September 30th, about half-a-mile apart), and Mary Jane Kelly (November 9th) – was not merely murdered, but horribly mutilated, with organs removed and a strong possibility of cannibalism. The last victim was mutilated almost beyond recognition. Even today, the photographs of the bodies are still deeply shocking.

Want the full article and website archive access?

Subscribe now

Already a member? Log in now


The History Today Newsletter

Sign up for our free weekly email