Jack the Ripper

Jack the RipperJack the Ripper is a pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished districts in and around Whitechapel, London, in late 1888. The name originated in a letter by someone claiming to be the murderer that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely considered to be a hoax, and may have been written by a journalist in a deliberate attempt to heighten interest in the story.

The seemingly unsolvable 1888 crimes of Jack the Ripper continue to fascinate. Even today, over a dozen new books on the subject are published each year. One such book makes the case for Walter Sickert, an artist with a dark side, being the actual Whitechapel killer.

Even though many experts dismiss Sickert, claiming he was in France at the time of the murders, those claims are put to the test using handwriting analysis and modern DNA analysis. Strip down the most provocative scientific questions of our time and explore them under a tightly focused lens. Animation, CGI, and special effects lead us through the search for answers as the investigations unfold.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 6.50/10 from 8 users.
  • Aline BARBEAU

    Did anyone ever considered the probability that it was a woman who commited the White Chaper murders?
    A woman would show this intense rage at a woman who would be chosen over her by her mate or lover.
    I think Jack the ripper is a woman.

  • Aline BARBEAU

    I believe Jack the Ripper was a woman.

  • jason

    kk

  • Mrs Clayton

    bearing in mind that most of the victims were killed from behind which would be the most common position for a man to take a prostitute, the whole female thing doesn't actually work, and that is before we take into account the fact that long liz was considerably bigger built than the generality of the time and known to be extremely feisty.

    This would be asking me to take on the idea that a big strong woman, known to fight others would meaninglessly allow herself to be attacked from behind and then mutilated because she had a sudden fancy for a little lesbian loving?.

  • DG

    I don't believe Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper

  • http://NA jono659

    It was Walter.

  • Jayge

    I'm with Aline.

  • bob

    it has a huge probability that walter is the killer.. he has all the MO of a guy who will evicirate his victim..

    its not a girl! only testosterone can give such a bloodlush that you will disembower your victim.. so its not a girl who hate prostitute. if its a girl she'll only stab him up to ten times. the only reason he choose prostitute cause their the most easy to target.. they will talk to unknown persons, their secretive and dont like to talk to the police in the first place..

    such a sad thing for justice for such a person to escape punishment.. i hope he burn in hell

  • Jenn

    @bob

    Excuse me, but women are perfectly capable of blood lust. We, too, have testosterone in our systems. And you have estrogen in yours. Every one of us, male or female, is capable of terrible crimes such as the ones in this case.

    Take your sexism somewhere else.

  • stevewithak

    @Jenn

    I fail to see the sexism in that guy's statement. Typically speaking, female MO is poisoning, right? The frenzy shown in the Ripper killings would suggest male, given what we know about the differences in genders. Obviously he meant it's about how that evil is manifested, not that a woman CAN'T do it. So, ya know, lighten up some.

  • Healer

    I find comments like "he did it for sexual pleasure" shortsighted, especially when you don't consider other alternatives. Black magic is one, but it's just one. Willing to play around with the law because you were bored or didn't have anything else to do, is one. Many people these days are forum addicts. What better way to use a sort of forums to express your self in 1880's than by writing anonymously? You wouldn't probably get caught just by that, and would get a sort of response from the mass media and the police.

    You gotta understand too how a criminal mind can work. Notice, can work, not "always works". One who breaks law may often at first be stressed and sort of paranoid for the consequences and for the moment of getting caught. But, time passes and even a more sensitive person with more troubles to adapt with those feelings, can grow to be able to bear them, and still carry on a normal life with normal social relations. It is not easy by any means, it asks one to not fall mentally, but to stand through the turmoil. Once you go through it, the kind of stress and paranoia won't reach you in the same negative way as it did. If the killer did his first mutilating murders around the same time, all five in less than four month period total, it is likely that he or she has been doing crimes or been in jail or as an accused of something, etc etc, before those murders. Considering how detailed and similiar the murders are, he has likely given them some thought or had had a clear intuitive image about doing it for some time.

    Also, one can use the theory of killer having planned the murder locations in advance, despite of what one guy in the document said. You can mark the exact locations of where the victims were left lying down, or the exact locations where they were killed. Isn't it a bit unlikely that the murder would move the bodies around, if the bodies are left wide open in that shape as they were?

    Anyhow, I think the person who did these murders had a calling for butchery and human anatomy in practice, was a thoughtful person, capable of suppressing one's negative feelings that come when you've done something against common moral rules. A mentally strong, unhesitating person capable of planning. For not having get caught, he must've lived at least somewhat normal life too, that's what indicates metal strengths.

    As for the document, I hated how it was so entertairning-made and suggestive, not letting the viewer form one's own image clearly. Mysteries are best when looked with a bit of scepticism, yet not denial.

  • Rogue

    Anyone who thinks a woman commited these crimes is taking a simplistic view. There is nothing, not a single piece of supporting evidence that indicates a woman is responsible.

    @ Healer
    You wrote:
    "Anyhow, I think the person who did these murders had a calling for butchery and human anatomy in practice, was a thoughtful person, capable of suppressing one’s negative feelings that come when you’ve done something against common moral rules. A mentally strong, unhesitating person capable of planning. For not having get caught, he must’ve lived at least somewhat normal life too, that’s what indicates metal strengths."
    I think your summation is a little naive. The perpetrator didn't suppress his negative feelings, he expressed them. He obviously had no such feeling of guilt, shame, or remorse. In fact, the evidence suggests he was quite proud of his work. He had no regard for the sanctity of human life and used women as a canvas on which to pour his psychosis. Far from being mentally strong this man shows all the characteristics of mental fragility: easily damaged by some childhood trauma and unable to process such events (unlike most people) he externalized his rage and lust. Just because he wasn't discovered isn't a credit to his mental prowess, it is a simple reflection of the environment he was living in.

  • joe

    I think shes on the right path,some one that smart is usually right under your nose,also in simular killings by other who are attracted to inner organs are evil posessed,in one case,in florida a husband stab to death his wife and mutilated his neice,dissected and removed her organs,then learnnig he brag to friends how he had the hots for her for years,also the police believe he maybe responsable for simular killings in his town as well as a trip he made out of town,they wait in ambush,he killed himself the same night but learn he had a poster accross his bed of a medical anatomy of a dissected person,he was fix sated on the inner organs why they lust the organs i dont understand ,but what is know at nine or ten years old he shot his mother and father,and try to stab his sister,his mother died his father lived he was put in a mental hospital until his release as a young man ,the hospital said he was normal and intelegent and wrote it off as a one time incedentmat,at the time his sister remembers his eyes changed jet black and his faced change to a evil entity,even though his father forgave him his sister was always afraid of him and felt evil still layed under the surfacembut didnt show itself until many years later when he killed his niece and wife and may be link to some seril killings in his town,i also notice with psycopath,theres usually seams to be two groups ones that think the world of them and ones that are there victims ,like ted bundy,its part of there mask they pick out up front who they they want to give a possitive image too a who will be there victums good cop bad cop in the same person dr jeckle mr hide its part of there cover if they ever, get caught,not because they have a good side to them,its planned from the begining,for others to cast a different image,part of there aliby

  • Elena

    Does anybody know who narrated this documentary ?? if you do please let me know, as i really need to know.

    and joe i agree with you it is very likely that it was part of their alibi

  • bailey

    it was colonel mustard in the library with the knife

  • DeathSSghosT

    all i know is if they had just the letters, then that would be enough to convict you in court today.

  • danny

    It was without any doubt someone high up in the English establishment, thats how he or she could stay 1 step ahead.
    And maybe even so high that if caught, would have been kept secret from the general public because of the nature of the crimes. If this person was of nobel birth it could have caused riots, maybe even revolution! I belive the the suspect was caught secretly tried, and either hanged or put in an institution till he?she died. And why do i think this? Because serial killers do not stop! until either caught or killed, the sudden stop of the killings leads me to belive that he/she was secretly caught!

  • Dominique

    I think it was a woman. but who knows?

  • emilyemily

    women aren't as likely to commit serial murders, and are much less likely to commit serial murders of this nature. Why do you believe it's a woman?

  • emilyemily

    People always use the "It was the devil" theory when they can't handle the fact that normal human beings are sick enough or can be driven far enough to commit such disgusting crimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christy-Bertz-Zecholar/1577178862 Christy Bertz-Zecholar

    i don't think it was a woman because back then men got the most education than women.. because men we're the highest

  • Bill

    I believe the murders were done by more than one person and not necessarily known to each other. Certainly the last one Mary Kelly - who was killed in her home instead of on the streets like the others. Newly formed newspapers wanting to attract a share of the market sensationalised the murders even more with drawings, speculations, innaccuracies and rumour.The Dear Boss letter was discovered to have been written by a journalist. This wild publicity would have been an ideal opportunity for other murderers to do their thing with a ceratin amount of impunity - as their crime in the mind of the public, would be lumped together with those of the 'serial killer' - Jack the Ripper. He probably stopped because other murders (not by him) put him in even more danger of being caught.

  • Declan_Walsh

    Yeah, true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663198457 Jemimah Kendall

    well it could have been a woman, like you men keep saying women are less likely to kill like that, men got more education back then were higher up and so on but it doesn't mean women have never done these kinds of things or weren't capable of learning things by watching back then just because men thought they couldn't and the fact that women were thought of in such a way would have ruled them all out as suspects so the police weren't looking for a woman and it would explain why nobody saw anything or heard anything because the victims would have trusted another woman

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663198457 Jemimah Kendall

    it could have been a jealous enraged wife who discovered her husband had been frequenting the whores

  • http://www.facebook.com/kdigue Kathleen Digue

    Maybe it was HH Holmes. He was known to have sold female organs in the U.S., namely the uterus ...was seen walking 2 big dogs, Greyhounds I think....and was known to travel abroad, at the time of the Ripper killings..he was a doctor as well...further more he was a known serial killer in the U.S. at the very same time as the ripper in England...it is unknown just how many people Holmes killed...he was caught shortly after the Ripper killings and executed in the U.S....any thoughts? Watch the H.H. Holmes movie found on this site...see what you think.

  • Alienstarship

    I read a real good book on H.H.Holmes, his life and what he did and when he was caught, it makes one wonder.

  • Memo Ali

    well i read most of the comments but the main question to me is why did he stop after the fifth murder it appears that he is an ego maniac who like attention and challenge it clearly appears so in the his letters that was sent to the police why did stop its either 3 things he died or he acheived what he want by feeding his ego but its clear and proved he is smarter than the police or something happened to him that changed his thinking totally

  • Bstudente

    how can a serial murderer be two steps of the law at all times?.. my theory is he would either have to be a doctor/mortician working in the police force... has it not struck you there was a pause in some of the murders committed.. especially when the police was getting too close... he could not be a maniac orjobless person because he was able to pay for his boarding.. he would have to be working in a high profile job..

    this murderer could not be a woman...how can a woman do such an illegal operation in just under two to three minutes?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MAFVOVQXUCS47OVBPIPOXT455U Daniel

    I think that he was a tool used by social reformers of the east end. They wanted to get the attention of the queen and this was the only way to do that. How could this person murder this way with the police and citizen vigilantes swarming the streets of the east end? He had to have had look outs, covering all entrances and exits to and from the crime scene. I think that it suddenly stopped because not only did these persons get the attention of the queen, they got the attention of the world. Thus their job was done. Whether they deported the Ripper or killed him off I don't know.

  • Devon Griffiths

    Remember that this was the 1880s ... the police did not have computers, radios, cars, or really any technology other than a club and a whistle. Policing was actually quite new - the first police force in London (in fact, in the world) had only been formed in 1829. Far from being professionals, police were generally just unemployed persons or sometimes even cripples hired to patrol the streets. Only a tiny fraction of crimes were ever caught - and the Ripper was far from the only murderer to get away with the deed.

    In fact, another serial killer was at work in London at precisely the same time, and continued longer than the Ripper murders; now known as the "Thames Torso Murders." Whoever it was (he was never caught) was perhaps even more daring than the Ripper, as he would deposit large body parts (a torso or pelvis) at places like Scotland Yard and military drill-halls.

  • Guest

    Also the fact the bodies had been cut in a way that the person knew what to look for and how to keep minimal blood. So it being a woman is not likely.