What do you think is the most likely ?

  • The Ripper was a Freemason?

    Votes: 7 9.9%
  • The Ripper had medical knowledge?

    Votes: 10 14.1%
  • It was Maybrick?

    Votes: 4 5.6%
  • The Ripper was 'of the same class' as his victims?

    Votes: 8 11.3%
  • The Ripper was foreign?

    Votes: 2 2.8%
  • It was Druitt?

    Votes: 2 2.8%
  • None of the suspects yet put forward?

    Votes: 17 23.9%
  • It was a woman?

    Votes: 2 2.8%
  • Another?

    Votes: 19 26.8%

  • Total voters
'S'okay. That's the theory that Barnett killed the first four to scare Kelly off the game, then killed her in a frenzy because she didn't take his subtle hint, isn't it?

Seems a little excessive.

It is excessive, by any normal standards. Its why I thought it was plausible to a degree. Having said that, I don't think it was right.

I still think it was a non-entity, his name probably in the files, and maybe known today. Someone with good local knowledge, who wouldn't really stand out in the crowd. The possible stressor being sexual dysfunction, since there was a concerted search for semen, yet none was ever found. His profession would probably be involved with butchery, fish preparation or tanning, something that being bloody wouldn't be unusual. Only hole in this idea is, since the outline fits, is why he stopped. One of the most entertaining 'deux ex machina' solutions to this is scepticemia. Both Eddowes and Kelly ME reports make reference to large amounts of fecal matter spread around the inflicted areas. It seems a bit pat, but I do like the irony, and it would fit with the florid faced sweating companion of one of the victims... I actually just think he was just stopped somehow; jail, other form of close confinement or death

Not romantic, but its as close as I get

Okay, so how about the Maybrick diary - has anyone proved this a fake or is it still out there? What other evidence ties up?
My sister trained at the Whitechapel Hospital in the 1960's. About the time she finished there was an exhibition at the hospital regarding the Black Museum. This exhibition included some of the photographs of the JTR scenes of crime. She got talking to a policeman and he showed her the full portfolio. She insists to this day that there remain unpublished plates. All of the published plates were considerably tidied up and the mutilations greater than reported.

ok it's a bit of a foaf story but she is my big sister.

Nice thread Helen
The Maybrick Diary still rumbles on, hence my coments about casebook.org early on.

There seem to be as many experts who sat that the handwriting is Maybrick's as says it is not. Same with the ink is Victorian/it is not Victorian. It really is a question of how many scientists can dance on the head of a pin.

As to proof by content, I'd like to see one question answered which would be something of an acid test for the book; Was there a murder of the 'type' in Godmanchester prior to the murderes in the fall of 1888? We know there wasnt a detected comparable murder in Manchester, and Mr Feldman's research uncovered a Maybrick link to Godmanchester.

As a personal comment, I think its unlikely to be real. Something that would throw a cat among the pigeons would be for it not to be contemporary with the MAybrick, and it not be a modern forgery. Then things get ugly...

I personally think its muddied the waters no end.

Originally posted by harlequin

I personally think its muddied the waters no end.


Yeah, and they were so clear to begin with:)

Sorry, I don't mean to sound sarcastic. I do agree though that the Maybrick diaries are an unnecessary complication. I didn't think there was any evidence of Maybrick being in London on the right dates? I must confess, I haven't read too much into the diaries simply because what I have read is (for me anyway) unconvincing. And the watch is just TOO convenient by half. The only book about the diary I have is Feldman's Jack the Ripper - The Final Chapter. He seems to spend most of the book indulging in a running diatribe against anyone with the temerity to question the diary's authenticity. It's good for a laugh, but it doesn't really do anything to convince me. Maybe his righteous indignation is justified in that, (if) the diary is a fake, he didn't have anything to do with it. Maybe he accepted it as real in good faith.

Of course, it IS pantomime season...

all together now - 'The Diary is True'
- 'Oh no, it isn't'
ad nauseum
The only truely odd thing about the diary and the watch seems to be that they are too young to be genuine and too old to be circa 1990, which is as far as my puzzlement goes over them. I think Mr Feldman was shilled, but the problems with the self-confessed forgers is that they don't really fit, like those two chaps who confessed to doing all those crop circles... For up-to-date ranting, I would recommend Carsbook.org, the Maybrick Diary thread. BTW, we now have further obfuscation around the diary with appearence of MJK's cross. It gets more like the mediaeval church as we speak, becoming more and more awash with relics...

ghost dog Do you remember where you saw the documentary and/or who presented it?

I'm currently re-reading Paley's work, to see how I feel about it a few years down the line and after a parcel of reading on modern SSKs (Douglas, Ressler, Britton and Kepple). I remember thinking that Fido had cracked the case, but on re-reading in light of other materials, I feel that I couldn't convict Cohen/Kosminsky simply because in many respests hit fits the contemporaneous outline of a ranting, wild-eyed, 'lunartic' but probably wouldn't have gpt within ten feet of a Whitechapel 'unfortunate' since he was living off gutter waste at the time and didn't look like he could provide the requisite tuppance.

dear boss

jack the ripper was nothing more than an opertunistic murderer that has been blown out of proportion by the media and prostitutes.. he only killed 5 whores.. i kill more than that on a friday night on my weekly night out in cheshire

yours saucy ricky
Wouldn't the trisarythmic theory imply dark deeds in 1999 and 2000? Who are your candidates for these? do tell
What does everybpody think of Frances Tumblety as a suspect? This theory is put forward in'The Lodger' (cannot remember author). This American doctor was around in the East End at the time of the killings, had a pathological hatred of women (collected medical specimens of wombs!!) and once he disappeared back to Boston the killings stopped. I may be wrong but I think that some killings of the same nature took place there in the years following his return. He is never mentioned as a suspect but to my mind he seems more credible than most...............Just an aside but my husbands family come from the East End and his grandmother of 92 can remember her mother talking about the fear the murders brought to the inhabitants.......
Whoops, maybe I should have read the posts first, sorry........still great minds think alike...............
Why not Tumblety?

After thinking about this some more, I think Tumblety deserves some more attention. I don't yet think we have the grounds to dismiss him (though sadly not enough to indict him either)

Looking at the arguments against:

1) He was too noticeable.
- Well, Helen makes the point he could have left the greyhounds at home. Six feet tall isn't particularly huge. And as for that magnificent 'tache, okay it's huge in the photo but when was that taken? How was his face fungus in 1888? Surely a bit of moustache wax, a big coat and deer stalker would be enough for anyone to blend in. Witness sightings in Whitechapel vary which underlines the point that witnesses are notoriously unreliable, and for that reason I don't think Tumblety can be ruled out.

2) He was homosexual therefore he would only turn his anger against men.
- Harlequin makes the point that we're in Victorian times, very different to now, and that is important. Was he homosexual? He may have been caught in the act, but there is such a thing as bisexual - would this rule out women as a target? Was Tumblety the kind of character who would target easy prey as opposed to male prey who would be able and willing to fight back?

3) The uteri and attitude towards women is hearsay
- Is this a reference to the testimony of Colonel Dunham? Why is this unreliable compared to any other piece of evidence? If we can't rule it out, then it is extremely significant.

4) Were there any other murders carried out in the US after 1888?
- It seems that Tumblety was under constant surveillance from 1888 onwards, making his operations very difficult. Maybe as a foreigner in London he felt he could carry out his crimes on different turf and return to the US in relative safety. However I accept this doesn't jive with a killer who would feel comfortable with the surroundings of Whitechapel. Is there any evidence for this? Was he a regular round London at all?

5) Medical knowledge
- Thinking about this some more, would someone with no medical knowledge be more liable to hack someone to pieces rather than carefully remove certain organs? I think it would.
Tumbelty again

On the subject of Tumbelty's hight. You say 6' isn't particularly tall and it isn't now but you're forgetting that in the 19th Century when infant disease and malnutrition were rife very few people achieved anything like their maximum hight.

In 1900 the average hight of a British man was 5'4". The tallest of The Ripper's victims, Elizabeth Stride, was so tall by the standards of the time that she was known as 'long Liz' she was 5'3".

In the 1880's, in the poorest areas of London, 6' was huge. On the other hand. 6' probably wasn't that tall among the rich. If as has been suggested it was common for rich men to frequent Whitechappel then a man of 6' tall would simply be thought of as well off rather than sticking out. He might have caught the atention of muggers, pimps and prostitutes but they wouldn't nessesarily mentioned him to the police.

Good point, Cujo, though I think you're right when you say a tall rich guy wouldn't stand out much as I think the area had a good mix of people. I vaguely recall one of the supposed descriptions of JTR as "foreign looking" .... could mean anything, though maybe this could apply to height too.
'foreign looking' was a euphemism for 'jewish looking'

harlequin said:
'foreign looking' was a euphemism for 'jewish looking'


sorry hit the wrong key. But to the East Enders foreign looking may be not just semitic appearance. Many of them were Jews, or have I missed another vein of prejudice?
Don't forget that the East end of London was & had been for generations a melting pot of diffrent races & religions.

It was dockland & the first jumping off place for anyone coming in by ship to the port of London.
intaglio said:
sorry hit the wrong key. But to the East Enders foreign looking may be not just semitic appearance. Many of them were Jews, or have I missed another vein of prejudice?

There was a huge anti-semitic thing going on at the time, hence, if someone looked 'jewish' it tneded to get reported as foreign, just to avoid rioting.

My source was the JtR A-Z (Fido, Skinner et al)

By the way

On November 7th in 1888: Francis Tumblety arrested in London on charges of gross indecency.

Harlequin's post above is the view I endorse - the only puzzle is why he stopped.

The Maybrick mystification has some weird literary pre-echoes which I explore,
tongue in cheek at:


The Conder candidacy is even worse piffle. Yet the Conders were a fascinating
bunch. I have an intro. to the main Conders at


The continued fascination of the case seems to be that he was the first serial
killer. I suspect that this status would be undermined if there had been a better
way of connecting earlier cases. I have sometimes wondered if Medieval tales
of child abduction and mutilation, traditionally blamed on Jews, were not the work
of serial killers.

Jews as scapegoats were also first in the frame for the Ripper murders. :confused:
I seem to recall (possibly incorrectly) that on Tumbelty's return to the US, the local paper (can't remember where he went!) had a headline, something to the effect of 'Ripper suspect returns to US'. Not that this means anything.

You've probably all read 'From Hell', but the final appendix 'The Dance of the Gull Catchers' is just about the most pertinent critique of the whole situation. Endlessly muddied over tracks...

Anyway, I thought everyone knows it was Queen Victoria in drag.
DanHigginbottom said:
... Anyway, I thought everyone knows it was Queen Victoria in drag.

And i always thought it was Conan Doyle
harlequin said:
By the way

On November 7th in 1888: Francis Tumblety arrested in London on charges of gross indecency.


Now we're getting somewhere(?)

Where's Helen when you need her...
Dark Detective said:
Now we're getting somewhere(?)

Where's Helen when you need her...

But you were doing so well without me!:)

Fingering Tumblety is still ignoring the description by witnesses of the height of the alleged assailant. They put him at between 5'7'' and 5'9'' - someone over 6' would have stood out a mile. They mentioned the moustache - but not the huge waxed ferret Tumblety had stuck under his snitch. Pictures of Tumblety exist around the time of the murders - yep- he had the huge hairy beast then!

Ball's back in your court, guys.:p
I don't much like Tumbelty. I read the 'First American Serial Killer' and wasn't much impressed. I'm currently hacking my way though 'Jack the Ripper - The Ultimate Source Book'

I'm as far as the death of Chapman. I wonder how Richardson was cleared, he seems suspect to me. Doutless that will become apparent with time.

He was, IMHO, too high profile. Jack was nothing if not anonymous. That was his strength.

By the time of the the murder of Chapman, the east end was looking for something 'odd', something that didn't fit. Tumblety, at 6 foot, with an american accent and that moustache was not anonymous.

The recurring theme in the reliable witness sightings was of a man of light complection,sandy hair and not much over 5'8". May have been Jack, may not have been, butI think that T would have been to memorable to be missed

Can we even be sure that there are any reliable witness sitings? There's nothing but circumstantial evidence to tie the sandy haired man to the crimes. As we've previously mentioned, word of mouth would spread like wildfire in the East End - look at the hysteria around 'leather apron'.

My feeling is that the killer was local, operating 'within his own class' and possessed a general understanding of the layout of the human body.

Anyone ever thought about mortuary attendants?
I agree on witnesses alone it's very dodgy to throw Tumblety out (anyone remember the Michael Sams case - no-one knew he only had one leg) however picturing it in my mind's eye I have an image of an extremely tall man towering over a very small woman which would be noticeable. Even so, we're talking about dark, underlit streets with heavily clad people. An American accent near a drop-off point for foreigners. Which leaves the sheep dipped in oil on Tumblety's top lip. As magnificent as it is, with faces steeped in shadow how noticeable is this?
From all the suspects we've discussed so far, for me he's the leader. I agree the facts don't completely fit, but when do they?
I don't have any theories to offer about who, I'm not knowledgable enough. What has always puzzled me about JTR case is the victims and the periodicity of the crime. I know everyone says he was a serial killer but does the pattern of the killings really support that?

An SK tends to evolve his killing method either getting lucky on the 1st attempt or taking several tries to get it right. In any event the pattern seems to be 1 or 2 kills to start then a period of reflection then another. The next killings are usually spaced out until the phase where kills are made whenever opportunities present themselves. The flux of killings that Jack undertakes indicates a mature killer. Where's his history?

The victims - all that seems to link them is the names and their jobs. The jobs could be little more than coincidence. It was not an unusual profession in the Whitechapel at that time, I beleive. The names? Possible.

Assume the whoring was the link. Who were there pimps and were the pimps controlled? East End Master gangs did not suddenly appear with the Krays and Richardsons.

Then the theory that the final victim was the target. I find that difficult. If so why the elaboration of the early deaths (the mutilations)? But if not why the stop?

Any answers? :confused: