RIPPER: Those who saw him

What kind of man was the Ripper?

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.

The victims are listed below:

Mary Ann Nichols, Friday 31st August
Annie Chapman, Saturday 8th September
Elizabeth Stride, Sunday 30 September
Catherine Eddowes, Sunday 30 September
Mary Jane Kelly, Friday 9th November

There are some reasons to think the Ripper was a Jew.

Witnesses described the killer as having a Jewish appearance.

When Mrs Long seen the Ripper with Chapman he kept his back to her and she was clear enough that he was a foreigner - a polite way of saying Jew.

Lipski was a Jew who had allegedly committed murder. The man who physically assaulted Stride the night she was killed called Lipski to another man on the side of the road. Evidently the attacker was calling the other man a Jew - Lipski was a Jewish murderer. Few think the attacker was the Ripper. The attacker was not a Jew for a Jew would not use an anti-Semitic insult.

The killer was more likely to have been the other man. A witness made a report to the press that said that the other man had a knife. The knife wasn’t mentioned in the police report. The other man insulted as Lipski must have had one. He was probably Jack the Ripper.

Later that night, it seems the killer scrawled a taunting message about Jewish responsibility for the killings at Goulston Street in chalk on a wall. It said Jewish men will not be blamed for nothing.  He left a clue in the form of a piece of Catherine Eddowes apron which was left below the message.

The Lipski episode may have inspired the Ripper to scrawl the Goulston Street message with chalk which said the Jews will not be blamed for nothing. The coincidence between the Ripper being called a murdering Jew due to him having being seen with a knife and the message appearing later and so soon after, indicates that the Ripper did kill both Stride and Eddowes that night. The message was a taunt because the Ripper had been correctly identified as a Jew near the scene of the murder of Elizabeth Stride and it happened in the yard of a Jewish social club and Jews saw the Ripper with Eddowes.

He was so confident that he wouldn’t be caught that he even boasted of his Jewishness when he scrawled that the Juwes are the men who will not be blamed for nothing at Goulston Street.

The killer wrote it in chalk and there is a testimony that it was rubbed so and tried to rub it out having had second thoughts. Therefore what the message said was true when it blamed the Jews.

The killer had been seen that night with Catherine Eddowes just seconds before her slaughter by Joseph Hyam Levy who must have been the Jew who identified him but who would not testify because he was a fellow Jew.

The Ripper if not a butcher should have been one and knew enough about being one which was why he was too adept at cutting up bodies fast and finding organs such as a kidney.  As a Jew he had to know something about slaughter.

He strangely took time to pull Mary Ann Nicholl’s clothes back down to spare her modesty.

The killer could have taken an attack of conscience and regret if he tried to obliterate the Goulston Street graffiti he wrote for it stirred things up against the Jewish people. Did conscience speak to him when he killed Elizabeth Stride when he cut her throat? Perhaps he felt so bad that he decided not to mutilate her abdomen but later the madness came over him again and he made up for it with Catherine Eddowes.

Why did the killer take Annie Chapman’s two imitation gold rings which were made of brass? This may indicate that the Ripper was poor or wanted trophies. But why Annie? He didn’t take the belongings of the other victims. He took Annie’s organs so what would he want with these other trophies? It is unthinkable the man would give the rings to his wife!

The Ripper was good enough at talking to prostitutes so that they would go with him despite the terrifying climate of bloodlust that shadowed the East End. This was a man who had at least talked to prostitutes a lot in the past. Something had happened to change his liking for prostitutes into hatred.

The Ripper would have probably seemed sane – at least some of the time - in ordinary life. What this points to is that the Ripper believed he was doing God’s work and was protected. The reason the police didn’t catch the killer was due to their conviction that he was a maniac. Levy seemed sane most of the time so he would have escaped suspicion.

The Ripper was not afraid of syphilitic blood which was a danger with prostitutes. He had to have actually cut himself while mutilating at some stage but even then the blood was possibly dangerous. The Ripper was probably syphilitic or he thought he was for he had no fear of cutting himself or getting syphilis from the victims’ blood.

If he had the disease, did he catch it from prostitutes? Could he have been the kind of man to avenge himself on them? There is no suggestion he slept with any of the victims. He might not have cared who he avenged himself on. It was about punishing a certain kind of woman rather than the woman he thought gave him the disease. A Ripper with syphilis would degrade the private parts of a woman if he felt she needed retribution. Some think the Ripper was mocking women with syphilis when he hacked off Eddowes nose. Typically victims lost their noses and artificial noses were common.

The Ripper from the descriptions did not look like a man whose health was ruined by syphilis but our suspect got physically seriously ill only after the murders. The Ripper knew he had to pretend at times to be about to have sex with the prostitutes he met and he wouldn’t have got far if he seemed ill.

The Ripper could climb fences with agility and dodge the police. He could move quickly from one place to another.

The Ripper wasn’t very tall because almost all the women he attacked were between 5 feet and 5 feet 2 inches tall. Annie Chapman was five foot tall, so was Catherine Eddowes. Stride was 5 foot 2 inches tall as was Nichols. Kelly killed indoors was 5 foot 7 but she was attacked in bed when she was drunk and trapped in a corner so a smaller man wouldn’t have been put off by her height. The man seen with Eddowes seconds before her murder was five foot three.

The Ripper was definitely a stocky man according to witness reports.   He was once prosperous and so would have had nice clothes to put on. The Ripper’s wardrobe ranged from shabby gentleman’s clothes to being well-dressed.  This fits what we know of the suspects family.  They fell into hard times at the time of the killings.

The killer liked to boast. He was behind letters with  Jewish extremist information that only the killer had.

We have a Ripper letter which shows that the killer was outraged at the thought that he killed a woman who may not have been a whore and shows the signs of a guilty conscience.

We are at a loss to explain the Ripper’s incredible eyesight. Lighting in the streets at night was extremely poor and he kept out of it while killing.  This was a man who was out and about a lot in the dark and our suspect Kosminski lived homeless a lot of the time though he did not need to.

A man with psychosis might have sharpened senses and hear the police approach. The Ripper was so lucky at avoiding the police there has to be more to it than luck.

His mental illness

The Ripper behaved consistently with a man who felt he could not be caught.  The suspect thought he knew all the thoughts of mankind and was possessed by some force that could get him to do things.  The ambush nature of the Nichols murder and possibly Stride indicates that.  He hated women especially fallen women that that fits how he may not have known for sure that Nichols and Kelly were prostitutes.  He took time to mark Eddowes face and the police plodding about.  This was not confidence so much as a feeling of being divine.


George Hutchinson said he saw Kelly take a man he could identify to her home in Miller’s Court at 2.05 am on the morning she was murdered. He was clear that he got a very good look at the killer. Hutchinson was seen keeping watch for he did not like the situation even though he must have seen Kelly taking men back before. Something was different this time.

Later Hutchinson would say, "I believe that he lives in the neighbourhood, and I fancied that I saw him in Petticoat-lane on Sunday morning." That was as good as saying the man was a Jew for this area was virtually entirely Jewish. He called him a foreigner - a polite way of saying Jew! Look how he has worded it. He is sure enough the man is local but he is careful not to say he is sure he saw him on the lane otherwise the man would be arrested. Petticoat Lane belongs to Middlesex Street so our killer probably lived there. Hutchinson naturally would have feared reprisal from the Jews.

The Lyons Testimony

What about the man who on the day following the killing of Annie Chapman was drinking with a prostitute called Lyons? In a pub called the Queen’s Head, she and a friend noticed a large knife in his trouser pocket.

The man said to Lyons, “You are about the same style of woman as the one that’s murdered.” Lyons asked him what he knew about her. This was his answer, “You are beginning to smell rats; foxes hunt geese, but don’t always find them”. He then left and she followed him as far as the church near Church Street. He turned around and saw her and then he vanished into the street.

It was decided that the man looked like a picture of Leather Apron. The man was Jewish for the Leather Apron image carried a Jewish appearance. Furthermore, where he vanished was very close to Miller’s Court where Mary Kelly was slaughtered by the Ripper.

His answer shows the same liking for leaving cryptic clues that the Ripper had when he left the Goulston Street message which in some ambivalent way pointed the blame at the Jewish men for the killings. It shows that he liked to boast as the Ripper did. This man probably was the Ripper.

The foxes hunt geese but don’t always find them seems to mean the Ripper hunts but doesn’t always get women to kill. He didn’t mean that he was one of the geese and the police were the foxes doing the hunting. If that had worried him, he would have said nothing. He didn't want her talking to the police.

Lyons was a young prostitute. If he wanted to savage her femininity and was frustrated then was he so angry at her that when he got Mary Kelly, another young prostitute, into his clutches that he took it out on Kelly? Kelly was savaged into a mass of flesh.

Lyons could have become a Ripper victim because the Ripper killed at the weekends. The day of her incident with this man was a Sunday.

His appearance?

The writer George Robert Sims had close friends among the police investigating the Ripper case. He did his own investigative writings on the subject. Sims was believed to have had a resemblance to a man on 30 September 1888 who came to a coffee stall and who talked about murders and who had bloodstains on his clothing. The coffee stall man conversed with this individual who told him there had been two murders at the one time and there would be two more. The stallholder looked at a picture of Sims relating to the advertising for Sims book The Social Kaleidoscope. Sims was the doppelganger for the man.

Sims looked genteel and so did the Ripper. The Ripper was described as shabby genteel.

The Ripper then if Jewish was not obviously Jewish looking according to this story. The story is hearsay and people like to feel important so the man could have deliberately tried to get attention by hinting he was the Ripper.

The reports give enough information to be sure the Ripper was a smallish stocky man with a moustache who dressed shabby Genteel and who was relatively young - somewhere around 30.  He was of Jewish appearance.  Mrs Long said he was over 40 but she only saw him from the back.

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