The Public Fascination with Jack the Ripper

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The Public Fascination with Jack the Ripper

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1888:

1888 London, England As the last halcyon days of summer draw to a close… Victoria is Queen… London has no clue what awaits in…

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Autumn Of Fear

In the East End of the city…:

In the East End of the city… A nameless, faceless killer begins stalking the streets of the Whitechapel section of London, preying on the area’s most downtrodden residents, the poor, “Unfortunate” women who sell their sexual favors on the mean, unforgiving streets. Before his fiendish work is done, the murderer dubbed “Jack the Ripper” will claim the lives of at least five women, including the “canonical” victims:

Ripper Victims:

Ripper Victims Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols Died August 31, 1888

Ripper Victims:

Ripper Victims Annie Chapman Died September 8, 1888 Elizabeth Stride Died September 30, 1888

Ripper Victims:

Ripper Victims Catherine Eddowes Died September 30, 1888 Mary Jane Kelly Died November 9, 1888

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There are many suspects, and multiple theories as to why the crimes were committed, but despite the efforts of the police, the killer is never apprehended…

His legend endures… :

His legend endures… Circumstances then and now contributed to the public fascination with Jack the Ripper … Why, you ask?

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Our Continued Fascination Jack the Ripper -with-

Media:

Many decades before Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson & Casey Anthony… Media Sensation Jack quickly becomes a media sensation, a century before the advent of Court TV…

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What’s black… and white… and read all over?

Newspapers:

Newspapers

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The Jack the Ripper murders were a veritable gold mine for newspapers of the day, particularly after they began publishing the letters allegedly penned by the killer. They weren’t the only industry to profit from the crimes, nor would they be the last. Money

The Legend is Born:

The Legend is Born An enduring record is left in the form of “letters” & newspaper articles, cementing the myth of Jack the Ripper …

Fast forward to the present day…:

Fast forward to the present day… Our continued fascination with Jack the Ripper has become a science of sorts, Ripperology …

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According to the Urban Dictionary: “Ripperology is defined as being the study of the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper. Though the term has not made its way into the mainstream, those who study the case, or are simply enthusiasts are referred to as ' Ripperologists '. This does not simply refer to finding out who the killer was, but who all of the victims were, along with various "evidence" such as the highly debated credibility of the Ripper letters.” What is Ripperology?

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The popularity and even the very existence of Ripperology can be explained by a number of factors…

The Obvious…:

The Obvious… We don’t know who Jack was & likely never will.

Having said that… Why keep banging our heads against this impenetrable wall? Why keep puzzling over this elusive enigma?:

Having said that… Why keep banging our heads against this impenetrable wall? Why keep puzzling over this elusive enigma?

It’s a good story, with compelling elements like…:

It’s a good story, with compelling elements like…

Graphic Violence:

Graphic Violence More specifically, violence that escalated during the Ripper’s crime spree.

Romance:

Romance For example, the 2001 film From Hell , starring Johnny Depp & Heather Graham, suggested a romance between Mary Jane Kelly & Inspector Frederick Abberline . Many dramatizations of the Ripper crimes in film, literature and other media have romantic subplots.

Sex:

Sex The very nature of the Ripper murders was highly sexual. Among the accepted 5 canonical victims, only Elizabeth Stride was spared the indignity of the killer attempting to remove and/or removing sex organs. In the case of Mary Jane Kelly, not only were the aforementioned organs horribly mutilated, but the killer took her heart as a souvenir, perhaps suggesting an emotional connection of sorts.

Celebrity:

Celebrity Jack the Ripper was a celebrity in his own right, but there are/were also many celebrities of the day suspected of being the “Blade of Whitechapel ” including a royal prince, a famous artist & a beloved children’s author…

The Royal Conspiracy:

The Royal Conspiracy Prince Albert “Eddy” Victor Sir William Gull Walter Sickert

Charles Dodgson AKA Lewis Carroll:

Charles Dodgson AKA Lewis Carroll

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Industry Cottage Ripperology has spawned a cottage industry. Case in point? Look around you…

Ripper:

Ripper Walking Tours Even a cursory search of the Internet reveals dozens of tour companies offering including the famous one run by London Walks with guide & noted Ripperologist Donald Rumbelow . “Jack the Ripper Walking Tours”

Books, movies, even video games…:

Books, movies, even video games…

To honor the memory…:

To honor the memory…

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