Ripper Who?

Prince Eddy- The Royal Ripper

Like many upper-class Englishmen, Eddy was a perfect example of inbreeding. He had several physical problems and was about as smart as the Wodehouse character aptly nicknamed Barmy. There are darker rumors about Eddy than the gossip about him being an indulgent fop. He was mentally retarded according to some. Other camps claim he had syphilis, and it was rotting away his brain. While going slowly crazy, he started to murder and mutilate women in the East End. He was Jack the Ripper. Problem with this theory-he wasn’t in London during any of the killings and there is no proof he had syphilis.

Sir William Gull

Personal physician to the royal family, Gull supposedly committed the murders as part of the royal conspiracy. After Prince Eddy marries and sires a child with a young Catholic woman in the East End, Gull gets rid of the evidence by slowly killing the young woman through “scientific experiment’s.” Her Friends, however, are not happy about this, but decide that they can use it to their advantage. They try and blackmail the government and get routinely dissected by Gull for their pains. Problem with this theory-there is no real evidence linking Eddy to any women in the East End. Yes, bastards were born to young women in the East End, but that does not mean that they were all Eddy’s bastards. If they were all Eddy’s bastards, he would have died much sooner of something catching (and he would definitely have been well known in the East End).

James Kenneth Stephen

He was Eddy’s tutor at Cambridge and, according to those who espouse this theory, something much more sexual. (He did support keeping Greek in the curriculm). Two years after the relationship ended, Stephens suffered a blow to the head that would lead him to lunacy and then death. In 87, he wrote a series of slightly crazed poems that contained violence against women. He then sought to seek his revenge on Eddy through a series of sacrificial murders to the Roman god Terminus. He murdered the Ripper victims and four other women in order to match his poem about killing ten women. Problems-once again, no real evidence. Also, why must it always come back to Eddy?

Montague John Druitt

One of the top suspects in the Whitechapel Murders, Druitt was given the dubious honor of being noted as the ripper in Inspector Macnaghten’s memoirs and Scotland Yard files. Surprisingly, there is very little evidence to lead to him being one of the top suspects. He did match the general description of dark with a moustache, but there is very little proof beyond that dubious fact. A successful barrister, he suffered the loss of both his parents before the murders. He appeared to be coping well, until his body was found in the Thames on 31 December, 1888. There were four large stones in his pockets. This suicide points to mental instability, but he has alibis for several of the murders. The perfect English alibi of cricket games. They go on so long that one has no time to kill the whores of Whitechapel.

Joseph Barnett

Mary Jane Kelly’s on and off man, Barnett is a more recent suspect, but he does fit the FBI psychological profile.His relationship with Kelly was not a gentle one, and the fact that the murders end with her also points to him. The locked door could have been because he had a key. His knowledge of the Whitechapel area was excellent, and he had grown up within a mile of the murders. He matched the general description of the ripper, but very few men in Victorian England did not fit that description.

James Maybrick

In the 1990’s a diary supposedly belonging to Jack the Ripper appeared. The tale it told was sordid story of an arsenic addict loosing grip on his life and his wife. He confessed to the murders within the diary as revenge against his unfaithful wife and created a huge debate among ripperologists. Today the diary is largely regarded as an applaudable fake, but the mad, mind melted, Liverpool merchant is still generally listed as a possible ripper. (and he makes a really good piece of melodrama as his wife kills him soon after the murders.)

Dr. Thomas Neill Cream

Cream’s career of murder spans several countries. He began with an abortion in Canada and then removed to England to get his medical training and poisoned his first prostitutes. He returned to Canada and continued abortions and murders until he was finally caught and charged in the US in 1880. He got life and served from 1881 to 1891 when he was released for good behavior. He moved to England and was once again charged for murder. This time he was hung. As the noose tightened around his neck, he was heard to mutter “I am Jack…” Problem: he was in Joliet when the murders were committed. Several solutions to this have been presented including a double and bribing the Chicago police.

Michal Ostrog

A petty thief and confidence man, it seems unlikely that Ostrog would be the mad, Russian doctor that Inspector Macnaghten believed him to be. He did have a history of lunacy. He probably claimed to be a doctor at some point during his long and crooked career, but he also presented himself as a Prince of Poland. At five eleven, he was a tall man, unlike the general description of the ripper being about average height. It seems very unlikely that Ostrog was the ripper. The only thing truly in favor of him as a suspect, is that his whereabouts during the murders are unknown.

Roslyn D’Onston Stephenson

This the alias of Robert Donston Stephenson. Not considered a suspect until the 1980’s, the East Ender showed an unusual curiousity in the murders. He wrote numerous letters and articles on the subject. (He also had a thing for black magic and the occult. Black magic turns Englishmen into Jack the Ripper?)

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One Response to “Ripper Who?”

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