Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Jack the Ripper

I have a bit of an obsession with the Jack the Ripper murders and will watch and read anything which throws up a theory. Recently the Leicester Mercury did a brilliant job laying claim that the killer was an aristocrat from Ashby called Frederick Bailey Deeming.

Recently I really enjoyed watching famous Mark Charlton lookalike Vic Reeves present a show investigating the Ripper murders on a dodgy Sky Channel (not Babecast).
He started out with six suspects (I once read somewhere there were eight, although I have just double checked that figure and found a list of 25 possibilities). He worked his way them through using former detectives and crime profilers and the like. I had forgotten that there were actually only actually five confirmed ripper murders, although he is linked to others. All the killings took place in Whitechapel, London.
Two of the killings were on the same evening, the theory being that Jack's first attack that night did not satisfy his blood lust and he struck again. After that night, it is said he never killed again. What I find interesting about this subject is not the gore and human tragedy, but people's obsession with it, including my own.
I think its the mystery of the whole thing and the lack of any evidence just adds to it. I found it fascinating that Victorian policing methods were such that when a murder occured, it was simply a major clean up operation so people did not have to see the mess.
Anything which could have helped modern day detectives or ripperologists via forensics and DNA, as they are known, were binned within hours of the murders.
Anyway, here is a list of Ripper suspects I ripped off Wikipedia.
My favourite suspect is Carl Feigenbaum (pictured above and taken from who later struck in New York, but was said to live in Whitechapel at the time of the ripper murders.
This is the Wikipedia list of suspects:
Suspects investigated by police:
· 1.1 Montague John Druitt
· 1.2 George Chapman
· 1.3 Aaron Kosminski
· 1.4 Michael Ostrog
· 1.5 John Pizer
· 1.6 Francis Tumblety
· 2 Other contemporary suspects
· 2.1 William Henry Bury
· 2.2 Thomas Neill Cream
· 2.3 Frederick Bailey Deeming
· 2.4 Carl Feigenbaum
· 2.5 Robert Donston Stephenson
· 3 Suspects named by later authors
· 3.1 Joseph Barnett
· 3.2 Lewis Carroll
· 3.3 David Cohen
· 3.4 William Withey Gull
· 3.5 George Hutchinson
· 3.6 James Kelly
· 3.7 James Maybrick
· 3.8 Alexander Pedachenko
· 3.9 Walter Sickert
· 3.10 Joseph Silver
· 3.11 Francis Thompson
· 3.12 James Kenneth Stephen
· 3.13 Prince Albert Victor
· 3.14 Sir John Williams

Let me know your Ripper theories!

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