In 1888, the most infamous murders of all time took place in London’s East End. Five prostitutes, destitute women who knew of no other way to survive, were killed and slaughtered by a supposedly unknown killer who bears the nickname Jack the Ripper.

Evidence that some of the Victims Knew their Killer

Detective Inspector Edmund Reid thought that only Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly were slain by the Ripper. He worked hard to find the killer but decided “here are the only known facts. The whole of the murders were done after the public houses were closed; the victims were all of the same class, the lowest of the low, and living within half a mile from each other; all were killed in the same manner. That is all we know for certain – my opinion is that the perpetrator of the crimes was a man who was in the habit of using a certain public house, and of remaining there until closing time. He would leave with one of the women. One thing is to my mind quite certain, and that is that he lived in the district. I challenge anyone to produce a tittle of evidence of any kind against anyone.”

The five murder victims may have known each other. They didn’t live far apart. These women walked the streets later than most prostitutes which makes it very likely that they were known to each other. Women of the night tended to know each other especially prostitutes that worked after dark (page 122, Jack the Ripper’s Black Magic Rituals).

Some experts believe that Mary Jane Kelly and Annie Chapman knew one another and were friends. Their source is the People newspaper November 11th 1888. Also Kelly and Chapman lived on the same street – Dorset Street (page 189, Jack the Ripper, Scotland Yard Investigates).

Another newspaper claimed that Catherine Eddowes had used a shed at 26 Dorset Street to sleep in (page 190, Jack the Ripper, Scotland Yard Investigates). If so Mary Kelly could have known her.  The Telegraph claimed Eddowes had lived one time in Miller's Court where Kelly was murdered.

Did they know the Ripper?

Mrs Long saw Annie Chapman with a man at 5.30 am near the backyard where Annie was later found murdered. At about that time roughly a woman’s cry of, “No!” and a bump was heard against the fence of number 29. Annie was found at 6.00 am. The bruises on Annie could indicate that she hit herself against the fence. Why did she call out, “No!”? The Ripper worked here in broad daylight.

Despite the possibility that the thump was something else and the “No!” was not from Annie it is unlikely. Nobody came forward to explain them in any different way and she was attacked about the time these sounds were heard.

One oddity is that Mrs Hardiman thought she heard footfall in the back yard and sent her teenage son William out about 6 am and he reported seeing nothing.

A man dusting the street reported a man smeared in blood making away from the crime scene at the time Chapman was murdered.

How could Mrs Long who saw people going to and from all the time to the extent that she would have paid no attention have been so interested in Annie and the man with her? She even listened to what they said. The man having said, “Will you?” and Annie answering, “Yes.” She had a good look at the man. That was strange. It is hard to believe that she hadn’t seen them together before. If she had, that would explain her interest. She was afraid to say too much in case the man would come after her next. If the man had been a Jew there was a danger of reprisals from the Jews if she said who he was. She knew more than she ever said.

The way to the backyard was through an occupied building past a staircase. It is terrifying to know that the Ripper and Annie passed out that way to the yard. The Ripper had evidently been there before which explains why he was so confident but still it was a big risk.

Some specks of blood after the Chapman murder were seen in the passage from the street into the backyard of Number 29. The rather far-fetched explanation was that cases had been carried through it which had come into contact with the blood in the back yard. That was the explanation endorsed by the Manchester Guardian. The Evening News said the spots were thick. You would wonder who persuaded the police the blood did not come from the killer and why. It seems that Chapman died shortly before 6 am when she was discovered by John Davies. It is hard to fathom how the killer went about in daylight with hands stained with blood when there was a tap in the year that he never went near. Dr Philips however was clear that there was no other blood and he said he checked carefully.

If there was blood then it probably came from the killer as he departed. The notion that Chapman was killed on the street and carried into the yard is too much.

Elizabeth Stride was found holding her cachous in her hand. That she didn’t struggle or drop it indicates that she trusted her attacker and was totally taken by surprise when he put his hands round her throat. She had turned down a client earlier that night. Sex only takes minutes on the street so why did she do this? It may have been because she was saving herself for a special client, the Ripper. If not, then she must have trusted the man who was the Ripper when she went into the Yard with him. Either way she must have known and trusted him especially since she knew of the recent murders and after she had been assaulted by another man on the street minutes before.

Eddowes was seen laying a friendly familiar hand on the Ripper's chest just minutes before her murder. She did this despite the hue and cry over Stride which she must have known about. She knew the killer.

Joseph Barnett, Mary’s ex-partner, testified that Mary Kelly was afraid of a man or men. He said that she asked him to read the stories of the murders to her (page 104, Jack the Ripper’s Black Magic Rituals). Why did he say this? Her door was easily opened through a hole in the window. Would she have left her room so open to burglary and the risk of attack had she been afraid of someone? Barnett was undoubtedly lying. Barnett probably knew who the killer was and wanted to point to him but in such a way that he wouldn’t get the blame for saying who it was. But its possible that Kelly was assured by Barnett that the Ripper would never touch her so she might have been afraid of the Ripper but not afraid enough to make sure she was safe in her room. Kelly may have known the Ripper if Barnett her lover knew him.

Kelly could read herself and would have and when Barnett still had to read the Ripper murder accounts to her it shows she was obsessed with them a little. This was likely if she knew the killer.

Why did the Ripper always take the money he paid the women for sex back? The women usually asked for the money and got it before they went with the man. The man was a lot less likely to pay if he got the goods first. No matter how much he was in a hurry, he always took time to search their clothes and get the money off them again. He always stole whatever money they made – the tale of the farthings at Annie Chapman’s feet however was a myth. The stealing indicates that the Ripper did indeed kill the canonical five victims. And the Ripper wasn’t exactly extremely poor. He looked like a shabby gentleman and sometimes dressed far finer than that. What happened when he had got other women to the killing sites but wasn’t able to kill them for one reason or another? Did he have sex with them and then rob them? Hardly likely. It looks more like the five women he murdered trusted him to pay after sex. They knew him. They liked him. Our suspect had fallen into hard times or was fearful of his finances getting worse and would have needed to take the money back if he had given them any.

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