The Victims

I personally do believe that all five women that have been popularly considered to be Jack the Ripper victims were indeed killed by him. In comparing not only the locations of the murders but also the M.O., the similarities are undeniable. Although each murder has its slight differences, most of these can be attributed to the escalation in severity of the wounds—something which is common among serial killings. If any victim were to be discounted due to superficial evidence, it would be Liz Stride due to her lack of abdominal injuries. However, if one is to believe as I do that the Ripper was interrupted during his attack on Stride, then it is easy to attribute Stride’s lack of grotesque injuries to the fact that the murderer simply did not have time to inflict them. In addition, when analyzing other discrepancies in modus operandi between the victims, Sugden makes several significant remarks: “the departures from the Ripper’s mature modus operandi are not necessarily significant” between the victims, and “it is a mistake to think that a killer’s technique will invariably remain the same. Experience and circumstance alike prompt development and change” (Sugden 357-358). The Ripper in almost every case probably strangled the women first, proceeded in laying them on their backs, severed their throats, and inflicted the abdominal mutilations (except in the case of Stride).Three of the women—Annie Chapman, Kate Eddowes, and Mary Kelly—had body parts removed that were never recovered, and one can assume again that Elizabeth Stride only got off “lucky” because her murderer was interrupted. In regard to the locations of the murders, the data only supports the belief that all five women were murdered by the same person. It would be an extreme coincidence for five women to be murdered within one square mile of each other, and also an extreme coincidence for them all to be prostitutes that lived within hundreds of feet of each other. They were also all killed in what can be considered nighttime hours, and were murdered in areas that were dark, secluded, and that contained a wall or fence that ended up being within feet of the fallen victim (of course, this can be attributed to the fact that the prostitutes were under the assumption that they would be providing sexual services and sought out a secluded location, essentially aiding their killer in his endeavors). In conclusion, I feel that all five of the most commonly recognized victims—Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Kelly—were undoubtedly killed by Jack the Ripper.

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