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Jack the Ripper
Transcript of Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper's Modus Operandi
Jack the Ripper established a Modus Operandi, or mode of operating when committing these murders.
It is believed that the Whitechapel murderer stood facing the victims, and when the victims lifted their skirts, their hands became occupied making them defenseless (Barbee).
Jack the Ripper then grabbed the victims by their throats and strangled them until they were unconscious, if not dead (Barbee).
The victims were then lowered to the ground, and their throats cut (Barbee). This was corroborated by blood splatter stains which showed that the blood pooled beside or under the neck and head of the victim rather than to the front which is where the blood would have flowed if they had been standing up (Barbee).
It is believed that the murderer cut the victims' throats from right to left which limited the blood that would have been exposed to the killer and also drained all of the blood from the victims (Barbee).
Jack the Ripper then made other mutilations, and usually took a piece of the victims' viscera (Barbee).
Most believed that the killer had to have some degree of anatomical knowledge, evident in the fact that in one of the victims, a kidney was removed from the front rather than the side without damaging any of the surrounding organs, and in another case the victim's sexual organs were removed with one clean stroke of the knife (Barbee).
Coupled with the fact that the crimes usually took place outside, often in near total darkness, and the killer looking out for the approach of others, it was almost certain that the killer would have had some experience with the knife (Barbee).
Forensic Evidence Analysis
One part of forensic science, crime scene investigation, includes maintaining the integrity of the investigation through proper documentation, which includes written documents, diagrams, sketches, crime scene photography, and the chain of custody (Durham).
In 1888 when these murders took place, forensic science itself was not an integral or established part of a criminal investigation (Barbee). Though two police forces carried out the investigations, The Metropolitan Police, or Scotland Yard, and The City of London Police, they both lacked the techniques that we use today to help solve crimes (Barbee).
One forensic technique that is used commonly in crime scene investigations today that was not used effectively during the Jack the Ripper investigations is the use of photography. The City Police did take photographs of and created a sketch of Catherine Eddowes; however, Mary Kelly was the only victim who was actually photographed at the scene of the crime (Barbee). The use of still photography would have been beneficial in providing a true and accurate description of the crime scene (Durham).
Another forensic technique that was not used effectively in the Jack the Ripper investigations was the use of finger printing (Barbee). The murderer used a piece of Catherine Eddowes apron to wipe off its knife (Barbee). There were also letters that were sent under the signature of Jack the Ripper, and the use of finger printing could have helped determine who they actually came from (Barbee). Though the first criminal fingerprint identification wasn't made until 1892, Faulds published an article in
in 1880, declaring fingerprints as a means of personal identification (Durham).
DNA analysis could have also been used to help solve this case. One of the letters that allegedly came from the killer contained half of a human kidney stating that it belonged to the kidney that was removed from Catherine Eddowes (Barbee). A DNA analysis could have helped substantiate or disclaim this.
Barbee, Larry. "Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Introduction to the Case." Casebook: Jack the Ripper. Stephen P. Ryder & Johnno, 1996-2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper was the sobriquet apparently adopted by the infamous Victorian murderer who killed five women in the Whitechapel area of London’s densely populated and impoverished East End (Owen).
Jack most likely murdered and mutilated five desperately poor women who were known to have resorted to prostitution to support themselves (Owen).
The murders involved the removal of the uterus, vagina, and, in one case, breasts, and horrific levels of escalating violence; the killer was universally assumed to be male; the police, police surgeons, coroner, and newspaper reporters were also male (Owen).
Though close to some dozen murders between 1888 and 1892 have been speculatively attributed to Jack the Ripper, there are five that are considered canonical (Jenkins).
Crime Scene Photograph of Mary Kelly (JACK THE RIPPER PHOTOS)
Timeline of Whitechapel Murders
Information from Journal of Investigate Psychology and Offender Profiling J.Investig. Psych. Offender Profil. 2: 1-21 (2005)
The main components of Jack the Ripper's signature include the control of the victim and progressive picquerism (Keppel).
Keppel, Robert D., Joseph G. Weis, Katherine M. Brown, and Kristen Welch. "The Jack the Ripper Murders: Amodus Operandi and Signature Analysis of the 1888-1891 Whitechapel Murders." Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling 2.1 (2005): 1-21. Print.
Picquerism is deriving sexual pleasure through stabbing, cutting, or slicing another person or by observing these actions (Keppel).
It is likely that Jack the Ripper utilized the violence of stabbing and slashing victims with a knife as methods for exerting power and control over the victim. A knife was used to penetrate the victim, and satisfied the killer through the eroticized power of violence, the domination of the victim, and the mutilation and bleeding of the victim, rather than sexual intercourse (Keppel).
1. Picquerism is evident in the proliferation of stabbing and cutting wounds to each victim (Keppel).
2. The murders of Tarbram, Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes, and Kelly demonstrated the killers' need to completely incapacitate the victims and gain their immediate submission (Keppel).
3. Characteristics of this killer's signature was overkill, to have complete control and domination over the victims (Keppel).
4. The victims were left in the open and on display in an effort to further degrade them and shock those who discovered the bodies
5. The characteristic of posing was evident in the Jack the Ripper murders. The posing indicated that the killer intentionally left the victims in sexually degrading positions to emphasize that they were considered disposable to the killer (Keppel).
6. Jack the Ripper spent more time undetected with the victims. The violence escalated to include post-mortem mutilation and the harvesting of organs, while the need to inflict excessive injury and blood loss occurred early in the killings (Keppel).
7. The attacks were planned. No evidence was left at the scene by the killer, which also shows pre-planning and organization (Keppel).
Owen, Alex. "The Journal of Modern history." 76.3 (2004): 685-686. Print.
Who Was Jack the Ripper?
Evidence Found at the Crime Scene of the Canonical Five
September 8, 1888 6 am
September 30, 1888 1 am
November 9, 1888, 4 am
September 30, 1888 1:44 am
August 31, 1888, 3:40 am
Mary Nichols (43), First of Canonical Five
Her body was found in a gateway on Bucks Row in Whitechapel, England (Jones). The initial responders stated that “her hands were cold, but everything above the elbow joint was still warm” and her skirt was pulled up almost to her waist (Jones). Medic P. C. Mizen performed a cursory examination at the scene where he discovered that not only had her throat been savagely cut, but that she had also been disemboweled and that the temperature of her limbs indicated that she couldn’t have been dead more than half an hour (Jones). She has been dubbed Jack the Ripper’s first true victim. (Jones)
Annie Chapman (45), Second of Canonical Five
Her body was found at 29 Hanbury Street in Whitechapel, just outside the back door between the steps and the fence (Jones). Her skirt was pulled up to her waist, her throat was jaggedly cut twice horizontally, and her body was mutilated (Jones). Her hands were raised and bent with the palms towards the upper portion of her body, indicating to the investigator that she had put up a struggle and tried to protect her throat (Jones). Blood was smeared on the fence next to where she laid, in line with the cuts on her neck and 14” over the ground (Jones). She had been cut open from her pelvis to her sternum, her small intestine draped over her right shoulder and two skin flaps from her abdomen were draped over her left shoulder (Jones). Her womb had also been cut out and was presumed to have been taken by the murderer (Jones). A leather apron (similar to the kind butchers wore) had been found freshly washed in the corner of the yard. (Jones)
Elizabeth Stride (44), Third of Canonical Five
Her body was found in Dutfield’s Yard in a position that the first responder referred to as looking like she had been gently laid down (Jones). Her throat was violently and jaggedly cut horizontally, the width of the cut was about 2” (Jones). Her chin was reported as being slightly warm, which indicated that the algor mortis had not fully set in yet and that her death would have been very recent, about 20 – 30 minutes prior (Jones). She was clasping a folded piece of paper in her right hand containing breath fresheners (Jones). She wore a checker-patterned scarf around her neck that was pulled tightly to the left side, and it was hypothesized that the murderer had most likely grabbed the woman from behind by the scarf around her neck (Jones). However, they couldn’t be sure whether she was killed while standing or while lying on the ground (Jones). This woman was nicknamed “Lucky Liz Stride” by some because her body went unmutilated by the murderer (Jones). This indicated that the killer was possibly interrupted due to the state of his previous victims. (Jones)
Catherine Eddowes (46), Fourth of Canonical Five
Her body was discovered on Mitre Street on the very night Elizabeth Stride was murdered (Jones). She was lying on her back with her head turned towards her left (Jones). Her body was possibly the most mutilated found thus far (Jones). Her throat was cut through the windpipe and the esophagus, nearly cutting through the spine (Jones). Her cheeks and eyelids had “V" shapes carved into them and the tip of her nose was hacked off (Jones). She was cut open from her pelvis to her collar bone and her intestines were pulled out and draped over her left shoulder (Jones). It was reported after further investigation that her womb and left kidney were missing, and it is believed that the murderer took them with him (Jones).
Mary Kelly (25), Fifth of Canonical Five
Her body (what was left of it) was discovered at 10:30 am on November 9th 1888, but the murder was thought to have been perpetrated much earlier that morning (Jones). She was lying naked on her bed, her head turned toward her right (Jones). Her face was so hacked up beyond recognition, when asked to identify the body, her lover could only use her eyes and ears (Jones). Her cheeks, nose, eyebrows, and ears were partially removed, and her lips were nearly obliterated by cuts (Jones). The rest of her face was torn up by multiple irregular cuts (Jones). The skin and muscles on top of her thighs and hips were removed and the abdominal cavity was completely empty (Jones). Her arms were covered in jagged cuts and her breasts were removed (Jones). Her neck was completely torn apart down to the bone of the spine (Jones). The flaps of skin from the abdomen were found on a nearby table (Jones). Her womb, kidneys, and one of her breasts were found under her head, the other breast was found near her right foot (Jones). Her liver was by her feet, her intestines were located to the right of her body and her spleen was on the left side of her body (Jones). She was believed to be Jack the Ripper’s final victim, but we can't be certain. (Jones)
Jones, Richard. Jack the Ripper 1888. N.p., 27 Jan 2013. Web. 23 Mar 2014.
Jenkins, John Philip. "Jack the Ripper (English Murderer)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
"The Social Shuttle: Jack ( The Ripper) Died In Australia." The Social Shuttle: Jack ( The Ripper) Died In Australia. N.p., 9 May 2012. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
(The Social Shuttle)
Layton, Julia. "How Did Forensics Experts Create a Modern Profile of Jack the Ripper?" HowStuffWorks. N.p., 1998-2014. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
Durham, Lyndsay. "Crime Scene Investigations, Friction Ridge Analysis, and Behavioral Analysis Presentations." Virginia Commonwealth University. Academic Learning Commons. Richmond, VA. 2014. Lecture
The Birth of Behavioral Analysis?
Many experts credit the Jack the Ripper case with starting behavioral analysis, or profiling (Layton). The fear within the London community inspired profiling (Durham).
The surgeon who assisted in several of the victims' autopsies provided police not only with physical details of the crime, but also with psychological characteristics that he believed to be associated with the manner of the killings (Layton).
The surgeon believed the killer to be unassuming in appearance and manner, and daring and calm in the face of unimaginable violence; he thought the killer would be middle-aged, leading a solitary life and wearing a long coat to cover up any blood from his crimes, since he killed in public places (Layton).
With the retrospective profile, the type of individual who committed these crimes based on the crime and crime scenes was established (Durham).
Because the killer struck in the early hours of morning, the profile suggested that the killer was single since he was able to keep late hours without arousing suspicion (Clark). Also, because the crimes only occurred on the weekends, the profile suggested that the killer likely worked during the week (Clark).
The disposal process that Jack the Ripper used of displaying the victim's bodies in such a degrading and humiliating manner suggested that the killer wanted someone to find them, got joy out of it, and that the victims may have represented something to the killer (Durham).
Profiling is not an exact science, and in 1888 investigators were expecting the killer to seem mentally ill, whereas modern psychological profilers believed Jack the Ripper looked and acted perfectly sane (Layton).
And though profiling was not developed enough to solve the Jack the Ripper case, it opened up the doors in helping to solve many crimes to come. Had the investigators in the case had access to many modern day forensic techniques, this would not be a case of whodunit.
"JACK THE RIPPER PHOTOS OF CRIME SCENE." Jack The Ripper Photos Of Crime Scene. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
Police Sketch of Catherine Eddowes
"Tough Cases.Net Jack the Ripper 1; Forensic Document Handwriting Experts." Tough Cases.Net Jack the Ripper 1; Forensic Document Handwriting Experts. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
("The Victims of Jack the Ripper.")
"The Victims of Jack The Ripper." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.
Clark, Josh. "How Jack the Ripper Worked." HowStuffWorks. N.p., 1998-2014. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.