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Jack the Ripper was an unidentified Victorian-era serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The murders of five women in Whitechapel, in the East End of London, during a period of just over two months from 31 August to 9 November 1888, came to be called the “Autumn of Terror” by contemporary journalists. Five more women were killed in the same area shortly before and after these five murders; their deaths are also sometimes attributed to Jack the Ripper, giving a total of ten possible victims. The murders were highly publicized at the time, and have since become one of the most famous unsolved crimes in history.

The name “Jack the Ripper” originated in a letter written by someone claiming to be the killer that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax and may have been written by journalists in an attempt to heighten interest in the story, increasing their newspapers’ circulation.

The first victim of Jack the Ripper was Mary Nichols, who was found murdered on August 31, 1888. Nichols was a prostitute who had been stabbed multiple times. The second victim was Annie Chapman, who was found murdered on September 8, 1888. Chapman was also a prostitute who had been stabbed multiple times. Both Nichols and Chapman had their throats cut.

The third victim was Elizabeth Stride, who was found murdered on September 30, 1888. Stride was a prostitute who had been stabbed multiple times. Her throat had not been cut. The fourth victim was Catherine Eddowes, who was found murdered on September 30, 1888. Eddowes was a prostitute who had been stabbed multiple times. Her throat had been cut, and her abdomen had been mutilated.

The fifth and final victim was Mary Kelly, who was found murdered on November 9, 1888. Kelly was a prostitute who had been disemboweled and her throat had been cut. Her body was also mutilated. The murders of Jack the Ripper terrorized the people of London and caused a media frenzy. The police were baffled by the case, and the killer was never caught.

There are many theories about the identity of Jack the Ripper. Some of the most popular theories include:

  • Aaron Kosminski: Kosminski was a Polish immigrant who was committed to a mental asylum in 1889. He was a suspect in the Ripper murders, and there is some evidence that links him to the crimes.
  • Dr. Thomas Neill Cream: Cream was a Canadian-American doctor who was convicted of murdering four women in England and America. He was hanged in 1892. Some people believe that Cream was Jack the Ripper, but there is no concrete evidence to support this claim.
  • Prince Albert Victor: Prince Albert Victor was the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VII. Some people believe that Prince Albert Victor was Jack the Ripper, but there is no evidence to support this claim.
  • Walter Sickert: Sickert was an English painter who was known for his dark and disturbing paintings. He was a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders because he lived in London at the time of the murders and his paintings seemed to be inspired by them.


The identity of Jack the Ripper is likely to remain a mystery forever. However, the case continues to fascinate people all over the world.

Self-Defense Tips Against Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper was a very elusive killer, and it is difficult to say for sure how to escape him. However, there are some things that you can do to increase your chances of survival if you are ever in a situation where you are being attacked by a serial killer.

If you were to live in Whitechapel in 1888, I would take the following precautions to prevent being killed by Jack the Ripper:

  • Avoid going out alone at night. If I must go out alone, I would travel in well-lit areas and stay on well-traveled streets.
  • Avoid walking through dark alleys or secluded areas. If I must walk through a dark alley or secluded area, I would walk quickly and confidently.
  • Be aware of my surroundings and trust my instincts. If I feel uncomfortable or unsafe, I would trust my gut and leave the situation.
  • Do not talk to strangers. If I am approached by a stranger, I would be polite but firm. I would not give them my personal information or agree to meet them in a secluded location.
  • (1888) Carry a whistle or other noisemaker. If I feel threatened, I would blow the whistle or make a loud noise to attract attention.
  • (Present Day) Carry a self-defense weapon, such as pepper spray or a stun gun. If I feel threatened, I would use my self-defense weapon to defend myself.


Jack The Ripper is a perfect example of being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Momma said “Nothing good ever happens after midnight!” or 2 a.m. depending on which version you are probably familiar with. It is actually a scientific claim that a person’s brain is not meant to be awake after midnight, and poor choices are often made. Believe the science or not, but just lock your doors and go to bed.

Also being a Victorian working-class prostitute didn’t seem to help, so possibly in modern-day London, NYC, or whatever big city you choose, may also increase your chances of running into a slasher late into the night in a dark alley. They were all vulnerable and easy targets for a killer.

It is important to remember that Jack the Ripper was not the only killer who preyed on women in Whitechapel. There were many other men who attacked and killed women in the area. However, Jack the Ripper became infamous because of the brutality of his crimes and the fact that he was never caught.

The murders of Jack the Ripper had a profound impact on the people of Whitechapel in the late 1800s. They were terrified of going out at night, and they were afraid of being attacked. The murders also led to a lot of speculation about the identity of the killer. There were many different theories, but none of them were ever proven.

There are a number of theories about why Jack the Ripper chose his victims. Some believe that he was motivated by hatred of women, while others believe that he was simply a sadistic killer. It is also possible that the Ripper was mentally ill.

Whatever the reason, Jack the Ripper’s crimes were horrific and senseless. They serve as a reminder that even in the safest of cities, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to take precautions to protect yourself.

As always, be safe and be prepared.


See More of our Serial Killer Profile series:

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