Questioning the Canonical Five

After careful study in class, I have come to the conclusion that the canonical five may not have all been victims of Jack the Ripper. I specifically have issues with Elizabeth Stride and Mary Jane Kelly (more so with Stride).
First, the M.O. of Strides perpetrator was different than Nichols, Chapman, and Eddowes. For example, the three other victims killed outside showed signs of strangulation before their throats were cut. It is believed that this was a very important part of the rippers ritual because it silenced his victims, making them unable to attract attention. Second, it unknown if the horse/witness actually startled the assailant away or if he was already gone when the carriage arrived. Conflicting witness accounts make it very difficult to find an accurate description of Strides assailant. Furthermore, the likelihood that a disorganized perpetrator would be scared away from a body and then venture back out to claim a second victim during the same night within an hour is very unlikely.
In regards to Mary Jane Kelly- could she too have been a victim with a different killer? The harm done to the body and circumstances were markedly different than other victims. The mutilation to the body was far worse and her murder was the only one that took place inside. It can be convincingly argued that Kelly led him to her room, whereas the other victims led the ripper to a secluded place. This would fit with the assumption that the ripper was led to quiet places primarily because women knew where they would encounter little disturbance from police. Since Kelly was the only full time prostitute, it would make sense that she was the only women whose secluded spot was an actual room. But how then do we account for the elevated nature of the attack in comparison to others? It is possible that the ripper behaved differently due to his new environment. Could he have, like many suggest, had a mental break? Or was it perhaps another perpetrator all together, such as Joseph Barnett?
I couldn’t post this without touching on these questions regarding the different nature of Mary Jane Kelly’s murder. However, I do believe that Kelly is much more likely to have been a victim of the ripper than Elizabeth Stride.


2 Responses to “Questioning the Canonical Five”

  1. Mary Kelly’s murder took place indoors in November ( a cold month) – providing both shelter and privacy for “Jack” to wreak his fury on that poor woman. I don’t believe Barnett was her killer, but I wonder about Joseph Flemming, who still visited her after their “engagement” was broken off, and who is known to have abused her for living with Barnett. The work of a jealous, spurned lover? Maybe.

  2. I see no reason to believe that Mary’s was not the work of the Ripper. The attacks were getting more violent with each victim , where organs were cut out and even removed. Mary’s killer had far more time and the privacy of that room that allowed him to fully engage in his mutilations and fulfil his savage fantasies. The throat was cut in all the victims , as was Mary’s. To suggest there were two Rippers in London seems unlikely. A lover with a grudge may kill but no one , unless they were totally insane , would mutilate , disembowel , cut off bits of ears , eyes ,skin , slice off breasts etc. .
    This was definitely the work of the Ripper. The only thing that I contest is that I can’t believe that Eddowes murderer only took ten minutes or less to do all the damage he did on her. I have often wondered if the couple seen by witnesses were indeed her and her murderer. In the case of Mary Kelly JtR had all the time in the world and that was why her body was mutilated beyond recognition

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