Archive for February 5, 2008

The Canonical Victims

Posted in Victims on February 5, 2008 by katelinm

Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols –  Mary Ann Nichols  could have been any one of thousands of women living in the East End for the majority of her life. She was married to William Nichols and had 5 children with him during the first 15 years of their marriage. However it was not the happiest of marriages and their final separation occurred in 1881. William then stopped to give her support payments in 1882 because of her lifestyle and dealings with other men. Polly’s life seems to spiral downward from here and she spends the next 6 years or so going from workhouse to workhouse and turning to prostitution when she needed to. Polly’s body was discovered on August 31, 1888 and her relatively insignificant life became a source of scrutiny for many generations to come.  Her throat had been cut with signs of strangulation and her abdomen was mutilated, a signature that would soon become very recognizable. She was in her mid-40s  when she died.

“Dark” Annie Chapman –  Annie Chapman also appeared to live a relatively normal life until her separation from her husband, John Chapman, in either 1884 or 1885.  She then lived with a sieve maker for a while, but when her husband died in 1886 and she stopped receiving his support payments the sieve maker leaves her. She did crochet work and sold flowers and did not turn to prostitution until after her husband’s death. After this she lives relatively consistently in a lodging house in Spitalfields and has a relationship with Edward Stanley, known as the Pensioner. Her body was discovered on September 8, 1888, in the backyard of 29 Hanbury St. She was last seen around 5:30 on the street with a man and the neighbor of the house where she was found heard voices in the neighboring yard around the same time. She was 48 years old when she died.

Elizabeth Stride – Elizabeth was originally born in Sweden and later came to England. She was registered by the Swedish police as a prostitute in 1865. She registered as an unmarried woman in England in July 1866. She married John Thomas Stride in March 1869.  From 1882 on she lives in a common lodging house and works in the Whitechapel workhouse and claims that her husband is dead. He really died in 1884 at a workhouse. From 1885 to the end of her life she lived with Michael Kidney on and off with her leaving him during periods of drunkenness.  In the days before her death she was living in a lodging house away from Michael. On September 30, 1888, Louis Diemschutz comes upon her body at 1:00 am possibly scaring off the murderer because of her very warm body and lack of mutilation. Elizabeth was 45 years old when she died.

Catherine Eddowes – Catherine was in a long term relationship with a man named Thomas Conway for much of her life resulting in several children. The relationship ended in 1880 with her keeping her daughter Annie, but she eventually drove all of her family away by her drinking habits.  In 1881 she met John Kelly at a lodging houe and began a relationship with him. They went hop picking every season together, but did not do very well in the season of 1888. After splitting up for a night on their return Catherine returned to Kelly on September 29, 1888, saying that she would find her daughter and ask her for money. She is found very drunk later that evening and is arrested as a result. She leaves the police station around 1:00 am.  Her body is discovered at 1:45 pm in Mitre Square by PC Watkins the afternoon after the body of Elizabeth Stride had been found. However, unlike Stride, Eddowes body was highly mutilated. Catherine Eddowes was 46 years old when she died.

Mary Jane Kelly –  She was born in Limerick, Ireland and moved to England as a child. She moved to London in 1884 and worked in a high class brothel on the West End. She appears to have suddenly relocated to the East End where she began to succumb to alcohol. By 1886 she is living in a lodging house where she meets Joseph Barnett. They have a relatively good relationship with occasional bouts of drunkenness and eventual end up living together in Miller’s Court around March of 1888. Around August of 1888 Barnett lost his job and so Mary returned to prostitution to earn money. Barnett soon left her claiming that it was because she let other prostitutes stay in the room with them and continued to visit Mary regularly. Her body was discovered on November 9, 1888, and was the only one of the victims to be murdered indoors and was the most heavily mutilated. Mary Jane Kelly was around 25 years old when she died.


Victims of JTR

Posted in Victims on February 5, 2008 by perrais

Polly Nichols

Polly Nichols was the wife of a printer, William Nichols, until her drinking problem and his affairs lead to thier separation. Eventually, Polly’s drinking habbit would lead to her becoming a prostitute in order to pay for rent and booze. On the night of her murder, Polly was kicked out of her lodging house due to inability to pay rent, and was last seen walking in the street by Emily Holland at 2:30 am. In the next hour and a quarter, she had been found dead at 3:40 am by a man named Charles Cross at the gateway of the board school on Buck’s Row. The police were shortly notified and on the scene. After examination, a doctor had found the body to have such savage throat injuries that the head was almost separated from the body, along with some abdominal gashes. The police later estimated that her time of death was very near to her discovery, due to the lingering warmth of her dead body. Also, the police found by the bruising and lack of blood, that she had been strangled, and then later mutilated on the site at which they found her. They blamed the murder on gang violence.

“Dark” Annie Chapman

  Annie Chapman was a plump, 45 year-old lady who was known to stay at the Crossingham’s Lodging house on Dorset St., where people knew her to be quite pleasant, and innoffensive.

On the 7th of September 1888, Timothy Donovan reportedly saw her leaving the lodging house on Dorset St. at 1:45 am telling him, “I shall soon be back, don’t let the bed.” Later that morning at around 5:30 she was seen by a passerby with a man whos appearance was foreign outside the residence at 29 Hanbury St. alive and apparently being courted. Then not a half an hour later at around 6:00 AM she was reportedly found slashed and mutilated in the yard of the residence by one of the elderly tennants. When police arrived on the scene at 6:30 they reported the body to have large incisions in the throat, and blood spatters near where the incisions were on the fense next to her body. Post mortem examination revealed that Annie chapman’s womb had been cut out. This gave rise to the idea that the killer was of some medical expertise.

Elizabeth Stride

“Long Liz Stride” had lived in the lodging house at 32 Flower and Dean st. for six years, and was reportedly seen leaving there at 7 pm on the 25th of september. she was reportedly seen with several men that night before she was murdered, but the most significant of those sightings was the one by Israel Schwartz at around 12:45 am. What he saw he proffesses to have been Liz Stride with another man, who was reportedly jostling her. Israel Schwartz thought that it was domestic abuse and thusly kept on walking. He very well may have whitnessed the beginning of another JTR murder. At 1 am she was  found dead in the street by Louis Diemshutz, with her throat cut and still trickling blood into the gutter. This lead the doctors and police to believe that the murder was extremely recent, and at the same time the body was found, Catherine Eddowes was being released from the Bishopsgate Police station.

Catherine Eddowes

After being released from the jailhouse, she was reportedly last seen at 1:35 walking the street with a gentleman. The constable on patrol found her dead body not fifteen minutes after she was last sighted. Her throat had been savagely cut and her body brutally mutilated with many small cuts to the face, and a portion of the nose missing. Also she had been disembowled with her intestines gruesomely draped across her body. She was thought to have been murdered only shortly before the constable found her, and only an hour after the discovery of Elizabeth Stride.

Mary kelley

Mary kelley was the only one of all of the JTR murders that was a full-time whore, and was also much younger than the other victims.

Many reports were made of an uproaring that occurred near to mary kelley’s room around the time of her murder, but the discovery of her dead body was made by her landlord: John Mcarthy.  After trying to rouse her, Mcarthy looked in through the window to see a horrible display of butchery. Mary kelley’s body had been almost entirely flayed out on her bed with blood spattering onto the walls and floor.

Mary kelley was considered to be the last one of the murders performed by Jack the Ripper.


Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2008 by leighannejoyce

Mary Ann Nichols- Murdered on August 30th, at 42 years old, and was considered Jack the Rippers first victim. She was first spotted by Charles Cross and Robert Paul. She had bruises on both sides of her face. There were two cuts on her throat, one four inches long and the other 8 inches, both of which went through to the vertebrae. On her abdomen, two to three inches from the side, there was a jagged, very deep cut. There were several other incisions on her abdomen. It was thought that all the injuries took four to five minutes to complete and were done by a very sharp knife

Annie Chapman- Murdered on September 7th. She was found on hanbury street by John Davis. Her face was very swollen and the fact that it was swollen apparently indicated suffocation. Her throat was slit to the spin, and the killer had attempted to remove the head. A portion of her small intestines had been removed and placed over her shoulder, and her uterus  and bladder were also removed. Other organs were thought to be missing. The injuries were thought to be inflicted with a knife similar to slaughterers knire

Catherine Eddowes- Murdered the 29th os september along with Elizabeth Stride. Her throat was slit about six or seven inches long. After she was dead, the murdered mutilated her face and body. The intestines were placed over the left shoulder. Her kidney and uterus were both missing. There were nicks on the lower eyelids and V’s on her cheeks. The tip of her nose was cut off and parts of her ear were found in her clothing

Elizabeth Stride- ” Epileptic Annie”- Murdered the 29th of september. She was found by Louis Diemshutz. There was a “clean” incision in the neck. It severed the vessels in the left side, split the windpipe and finished just in front of the vessels on the right side. It was decided that she bled to death very slowly. She had bruises on both shoulders

Mary Jane Kelly- Murdered on November 8th. She was found by Thomas Bowyer who came to collect the rent. Her body  was hacked beyond recognition and quite frankly, i dont feel the need to talk about it here and make myself nauseous.

To sum it all up: Sweeney Todd did it!!!!!!!!!!

The Ripper’s Victims

Posted in Victims on February 5, 2008 by corkey11

Mary Ann Nichols

Also known as Polly, she is generally acknowledged to be the first victim of Jack the Ripper.The daughter of a locksmith and a laundress, she married printer William Nichols. The marriage later split up in 1880 due to his extramarital affairs and her hard drinking. William kept all three of their children. Like many of the unskilled women in the East End, she eventually turned to prostitution when she was unable to find the money for the rent (or for the gin). On 20 August, 1888, Nichols sought sanctuary in the lodging house at Thrawl Street. She was kicked out due to her inability to pay the rent, but was certain she would be able to “solicit” the money because she had a “jolly new bonnet.” She was last seen walking the streets in this bonnet by an Emily Holland at 2:30 a.m.
Her body was found at 3:45 a.m. by Charles Cross. The police soon arrived and determined her to be dead. Her throat had been slit from the left to the right twice and both incisions were deep enough to reach to her spinal cord. There was also bruising on her face and throat and more jagged wounds on her abdomen. It was determined that she had been killed about half an hour prior to the discovery of her body and at a different site (there was very little blood around the body for the nature of her wounds). The police suspected her death to be gang related. Annie’s drinking caused their sometime during 1882, despite their three children

Annie Chapman

A soldier’s daughter, Chapman entered domestic service and later married coachman John Chapman. They separated sometime during 1882 because of Annie’s heavy drinking, despite their three children. Chapman then flitted about London, living with a series of men. It was only after her husband died and her allowance stopped that she turned to prostitution.

Chapman left her usual boarding house at 1:45 a.m. on Friday, 7 September, 1888. When unable to pay her rent, she told her landlord, “Never mind, Tim; I shall soon be back. Don’t let the bed.” Her body was found at 5:45 by John Davis. Her body showed signs of suffocation and bruising along with the a slitting of the throat similar to that of Nichol’s but violent enough to practically behead her. Some speculated that the killer had put the scarf around her neck in order to keep her head on, but later testimony showed that Chapman had indeed been wearing the scarf that night. Her abdomen had also been mutilated. Some of her intestines had been pulled out and draped over her left shoulder while a large portion of her vagina and her bladder had been completely removed and were missing. The blood smears around the body indicated that she had been killed at the crime site. The police no longer knew who to suspect, but they thought it very likely that the same man had brutally killed both women.

Double Murder- Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes

On Saturday, 29 September, 1888, the Ripper struck twice, leaving the remains of two women on the East End Streets. These women were Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.

Stride was the daughter of a Swedish farmer. After loosing her job as a maid, she rapidly lost control of her life. A stillborn bastard child, genital herpes, and symptoms of syphilis were included in her spiraling decline. She emigrated to London in 1866, and then married carpenter Joseph Stride three years later. They opened a coffee shop, but due to her husband’s illness and her heavy drinking, they permanently separated in 1881. After that, she lived on and off with dock labourer Michael Kidney and indulged regularly in drink funded by prostitution.

On the night of the murders, Stride was last seen leaving the Bricklayer’s Arms with a man at about 11 p.m. Shortly after 1 p.m., Louis Diemshutz discovered her body. Unsure if she was asleep, dead, or just passed out drunk, he went into a nearby club for assistance. When the area was lit, blood could be seen trickling through the gutter and into the drain from Stride’s slit throat. Stride had a cleanly cut six inch laceration on her throat, running from left to right. She had been slashed violently enough for her windpipe to be cut nearly in two, but only her left veins had been severed, casing her death to be slower. Her shoulders and collar bone were bruised (whether or not that was an act of the murderer is up for debate.) Her right hand had been smeared with blood and lay across her chest. The warmth of the body and still flowing blood suggested her death had been very recent. About an hour later, Eddowes’ body was found.

Eddowes was born the daughter of a tinplate worker and a cook in Wolverhampton. After being orphaned, she worked in the fact tinplate factory until she was caught stealing. She later moved to London with Irishman and ex-soldier Thomas Conway. They had three children, but to due Eddowes heavy drinking and Conway’s abusive nature the relationship ended, and Eddowes alone moved to the East End in 1880. There she began a long friendship with odd jobber John Kelly.

At 1:35 a.m. on the morning of her death, Eddowes was seen for the last time in the streets of the East End with an unknown man. P.C. Watkins found her body at about 1:45 that morning. She had been ferociously attacked. Her throat was cut to the vertebrate, and her vocal chords were completely severed. Due to the cutting of her left carotid artery, her death had been almost instantaneous. After the death, the killer had moved on to mutilate her abdomen and face. A piece of her intestines were removed and placed over her shoulder and another piece of her intestines had been draped between her body and her left arm. Her ears, cheeks, and eyelids had been slit, and part of her nose had been cut off. The death was estimated to have occurred at about 1:40, less than an hour after Stride had been killed.

Mary Jane Kelly

Kelly was born an iron-worker in Ireland, but soon moved to Wale as her father looked for work in the ironworks there. She married at sixteen, but was then widowed at nineteen and moved to Cardiff where she began her career as a prostitute. In 1884, she moved to London to work in a West End brothel. She also spent time working in France, but preferred to return to London. Sometime soon after that she began living with Joe Barnett.

She was last seen around Thrawl Street with a man at 2 a.m. on 9 November, 1888. Her body was found at 10:30 that morning by Thomas Bowyer, her friendly neighborhood rent man. The mangled body was barely recognizable as human. The severance of the right carotid artery was thought to be the immediate cause of death, but her other injuries had been violent enough to splurt blood all over her wall. Her face was cut and gashed beyond recognition. Pieces, of her noes, ears, nose, and eyebrows had been completely removed. Her throat was severely hacked, and her voice-box was close to being cut in half. Her arms had numerous jagged lacerations on them. The breasts were cut off and placed by the head and the feet. Parts of the lung had been removed and the heart had possibly been completely removed. The abdomen and the thighs were severely slashed and the contents of the abdomen were placed around the body.


It seems to me that it would be very unlikely that all of these woman would be linked at all (as suggested in “From Hell”). Their ethnic backgrounds (Irish/Welsh, Swedish, and English) would have served well enough to keep them apart. Also, it almost seems is if Kelly’s murder was unrelated. It occurred much later, was considerably more violent, she was significantly younger than the other women, and the only one to work full time as a prostitute. It was quite possible with her background that she could have found enemies in other places.