[ My intention with my blog is to simply collect articles of interest to me for purposes of future reference. I do my best to indicate who has actually composed the articles. NONE of the articles have been written by me. – Louis Sheehan ]
This book explores the candidacy of over 200 known and obscure individuals, who at one time or another have fallen under suspicion of having committed the Whitechapel murders, either on their own, or as part of a wider group of conspirators. To give as complete account as possible, everybody who has been implicated, however ludicrous the suggestion or slight the suspicion has been included. For ease of reference each suspect is listed only once, under their known suspect name, and not under the various pseudonyms attributed to them.
Some, like John Avery, William Wallace Brodie and George Payne, foolishly confessed to having perpetrated the murders while under the influence of alcohol. Others aroused the suspicion of friends, neighbours and the general public at large, simply by appearing to act strangely. A great many more came under suspicion simply because of their nationality, after it was assumed that no Englishman could commit such foul deeds. The police arrested a number of Jewish looking suspects and witness, descriptions told of a man who looked ‘foreign’.
The police, under enormous pressure from the public, the government and a hungry and growing press, assumed the murders must be the work of a madman. Checks were made at all the asylums, and anyone having spent any amount of time in such an establishment had his movements at the time of the murders fully investigated. Men such as Joseph Isenschmid, David Cohen and Jacob Levy, who outwardly displayed signs of mental illness, were swiftly arrested and placed in an asylum, as much for their own protection as that of the general public.
The medical profession also did not escape suspicion, due, in no small part, to the skill displayed by the killer in removing body parts from his victims swiftly in the darkened shadows.
Many eminent doctors and surgeons reputations, have, over the years, been tainted by the suggestion that they where Jack the Ripper.
One of the earliest books on the subject, William Stewart’s Jack the Ripper – A New Theory, puts forward the suggestion that Jack the Ripper, was in fact, Jill the Ripper, a murderous midwife. A suggestion that has not received wide support, despite allegedly being considered seriously at the time by Inspector Abberline.
The great and the good of the land also did not avoid the finger of suspicion being pointed towards them. Kings, Prime Ministers, and members of the royal family have all variously, and seriously, been implicated in one complicated and unbelievable plot after another.
Here then lies the stories of the many individuals who were implicated in the grisly murders during that terrifying autumn of 1888.