There have been many suspects in the sensational 19th century case of "The Whitechapel Murders", the real question is: Which one, if any of them, was
Here is a list of suspects:
1 Contemporaneous police opinion
1.1 Montague John Druitt
1.2 Seweryn Kłosowski alias George Chapman
1.3 Aaron Kosminski
1.4 Michael Ostrog
1.5 John Pizer
1.6 James Thomas Sadler
1.7 Francis Tumblety
2 Contemporaneous press and public opinion
2.1 William Henry Bury
2.2 Thomas Neill Cream
2.3 Thomas Hayne Cutbush
2.4 Frederick Bailey Deeming
2.5 Carl Feigenbaum
2.6 Robert Donston Stephenson
3 Proposed 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 James Kenneth Stephen
3.12 Francis Thompson
3.13 Duke of Clarence
3.14 Sir John Williams
What a list, eh? There are a few notable names in that list, and many authors and investigators throughout the years have put forward their cases
Based on what I've read and watched, those that raise the eyebrows the most to me are:
Aaron Kosminski, Frederick Bailey Deeming and James Maybrick. I do realize that Patricia Cornwell has put postulated that Walter Sickert was the
Ripper, but over time, I feel that her case doesn't hold water.
is a name that came up often within the police ranks during the time of the investigation. He is of interest to me due to his
mental condition (Schizophrenia), but somehow he seems to be too easy to point the finger at, not to mention the fact that he was Jewish, which
automatically made him suspect in the eyes of the public in Victorian England. Not to mention, he was supposedly housed in an insane asylum during the
time of the Whitechapel Murders.
Frederick Bailey Deeming
was an English-born Australian gasfitter, and known murderer. He killed his first and second wife, as well as his four
children, had as many as 20 different aliases, and traveled the world fairly extensively.
The ritualistic manner of how he killed his first wife Marie, and their four children (he arranged the bodies of the children around the corpse of
their mother in a macabre circle), seems to fit with the way in which the Ripper would arrange (or remove) body parts of his victims. Deeming also was
rather fond of knives, often keeping quite an impressive collection with him at all times. It should also be noted that strangulation was employed in
the murder of Bertha, Deeming's 9 year old daughter, which fits as well with the postulation that the Ripper did, in fact use strangulation as well in
some of his murders, though the rest of the family had had their throats slit.
There is also the matter of Deeming matching, almost perfectly, to physical descriptions of the Ripper.
So, what's the problem? Some sources state that Deeming was incarcerated in South Africa at the time of the Ripper murders.
*NOTE* There is evidence that Deeming had been released prior to the time of the Whitechapel Murders and was, in fact, in England at the time.
It should also be noted that Deeming had Syphilis which can lead to psychotic breaks. A break such as this could easily account for the ferocity of
the Ripper murders and, if not a psychotic break, his hatred of disease-spreading prostitutes could also account for said ferocity. I feel it that it
could have been a combination of both.
Deeming was eventually hanged for the murder of his second wife, Emily Mather Deeming in Australia.
is the supposed author of "Jack the Ripper's Diary". There are a great many reasons to denounce the book as a hoax, but there
are also reasons to accept it as true.
The alleged admittance of Michael Barrett (the publisher of the diary) that it was a hoax, is the main reason to assume illegitimacy, thus accounting
for all of the factual accuracies of the entries regarding the Whitechapel Murders that the general public would not have known at the time. Barrett
later denied admitting that the diary was a hoax.
Maybrick fit the physical descritpion of the Ripper nearly as well as Deeming did. He also have opportunity via railway to reach London (to see his
mistress). As far as motive, Maybrick's wife had supposedly (according to the diary) taken a lover. That, combined with Maybrick's apparent drug
addiction, may have fueled him to commit murder against women that, for the most part, no one would miss.
There is a later peice of evidence that may indicate that either Maybrick was
the Ripper, or that he fantasized about being him; the pocket
In June 1993, a pocket watch was presented by Albert Johnson of Wallasey, Merseyside. The watch has "J. Maybrick" scratched on the inside
cover, along with the words "I am Jack", as well as the initials of the five canonical Ripper victims. The watch was examined in 1993 by Dr Stephen
Turgoose of the Corrosion and Protection Centre at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, using an electron microscope. He
"On the basis of the evidence...especially the order in which the markings were made, it is clear that the engravings pre-date the vast majority
of superficial surface scratch marks...the wear apparent on the engravings, evidenced by the rounded edges of the markings and 'polishing out' in
places, would indicate a substantial age...whilst there is no evidence which would indicate a recent (last few years) origin...it must be emphasised
that there are no features observed which conclusively prove the age of the engravings. They could have been produced recently, and deliberately
artificially aged by polishing, but this would have been a complex multi-stage process...many of the features are only resolved by the scanning
electron microscope, not being readily apparent in optical microscopy, and so, if they were of recent origin, the engraver would have to be aware of
the potential evidence available from this technique, indicating a considerable skill and scientific awareness."
In 1994, the watch was taken to the Interface Analysis Centre at Bristol University and studied by Dr Robert Wild using an electron microscope and
Auger electron spectroscopy. Dr Wild found that:
"Provided the watch has remained in a normal environment, it would seem likely that the engravings were at least several tens of years age...in my
opinion it is unlikely that anyone would have sufficient expertise to implant aged, brass particles into the base of the engravings."
The odds are that Maybrick did
fantasize about being the Ripper, but then again, was it just a fantasy?
So, there you go guys. I personally am leaning toward Deeming being Jack the Ripper, but if the hoax label can be swept away, Maybrick may be the
What do you guys think? Do you have a "pet suspect" of your own?
edit on 2/2/2014 by ProfessorChaos because: Typo