Jack The Ripper (Compendium Thread)

What do you think is the most likely ?

  • The Ripper was a Freemason?

    Votes: 4 10.8%
  • The Ripper had medical knowledge?

    Votes: 3 8.1%
  • It was Maybrick?

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • The Ripper was 'of the same class' as his victims?

    Votes: 6 16.2%
  • The Ripper was foreign?

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • It was Druitt?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of the suspects yet put forward?

    Votes: 10 27.0%
  • It was a woman?

    Votes: 1 2.7%
  • Another?

    Votes: 9 24.3%

  • Total voters
    37
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From my post (#1780):

If you altered the author’s name to A. Scargill and changed every reference to JTR/Maybrick to M. Thatcher, the book would make almost as much sense.

The review plastered across the cover states “A bloody good read”. The review is from the Guardian

Shocker.”...
I don't think opinions were quite as partisan as this implies; Robinson's book got some pretty good reviews (if, usually, with provisos) across a fair share of the spectrum. The Telegraph, for instance - hardly a repository of left-wing thought - describes the book, rather po-facedly (and rather out-Guardianing the Guardian) as performing a most valuable moral service. I very much doubt that even the most right wing of authors would deny that chronic social injustice played its part in the killings – Robinson’s error, to my mind, is to write as if no-one else has ever worked this out.

That said, I have some sympathy with Craig Brown's review in the Mail (although, if the paperback blurb is accurate there were more favourable reviews elsewhere in that paper):

It is a strange, mind-boggling mixture of pedantry and craziness in which Robinson’s attempts to set out his extraordinarily complex argument in sober, rational terms are continually undermined by sugar-rushes of sudden mad invective.

I wouldn't actually argue with that, but I'm not sure it makes the book any less worthy, or any more unhinged, than about 95% of the Ripper canon. It's also a damn sight more exhaustive, interesting and entertaining than many.

On another matter, I am about to re-read Tom Westcott's The Bank Holiday Murders - which examines the cases of Martha Tabram and Emma Smith, both of whom, depending on your attachment to the 'canonical five', may, or may not, have been early victims of the Ripper. I read it some time back, but don't think I gave it the attention it deserved. (On a complete aside - should you need any confirmation of the stupidity of some readers, look at the two one star reviews of this book on Amazon.)
 

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OrsonSwells

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On another matter, I am about to re-read Tom Westcott's The Bank Holiday Murders - which examines the cases of Martha Tabram and Emma Smith, both of whom, depending on your attachment to the 'canonical five', may, or may not, have been early victims of the Ripper. I read it some time back, but don't think I gave it the attention it deserved. (On a complete aside - should you need any confirmation of the stupidity of some readers, look at the two one star reviews of this book on Amazon.)
I have very little knowledge of the non-canon murders. Do any of the more knowledgable members here think there is a chance they were linked to the main "Ripper" murders? Also, forgive my ignorance, but are there any potentially credible reports of Ripper activity after Mary Kelly's murder?
 

Yithian

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I have very little knowledge of the non-canon murders. Do any of the more knowledgable members here think there is a chance they were linked to the main "Ripper" murders? Also, forgive my ignorance, but are there any potentially credible reports of Ripper activity after Mary Kelly's murder?
Yes, and yes (but only potentially).

In my opinion there's a credible argument that Tabram was the first of the Ripper's victims, before he had established a consistent modus operandi. Much of the key similarities have been lost in the farcical events that followed her death. A constable named Thomas Barrett challenged a soldier hanging around George Yard at 2 a.m. on the night of the killing and managed to identify his regiment, rank and lack of decoration, but at a subsequent line-up he identified only Grenadier Guardsmen with alibis.

Mary Ann Connelly AKA 'Pearly Poll', Tabram's companion on the night she died, was also fairly useless. She agreed to a view a line-up of Guardsman and was confident that she would know the two men she and Tabram had liaised with before they parted, but then she vanished for two days. When she turned up again and the line-up finally did take place, she failed to identify the men, but then dropped the fact that the two men had white cap badges: Coldstream Guards, not the Grenadier Guards garrisoning the Tower. A second line-up saw her pick two more men (one of them the wrong rank), each with a solid alibi. The impression gained by the police is that she was enjoying the attention and taking the p***.

There are conceivable victims after Kelly, but only conceivable, not likely.

On the move and on a phone, but will try to dig out details later.

Edit: the three non-cannonical 'possibles' pre-Tabram were Annie Millwood, Ada Wilson and Emma Elizabeth Smith. I'm hazy in the recollection, but I think only the last looks even conceivable. She was attacked just 100 yards from where Tabram would later be (George Yard), also on a Bank Holiday night and supported herself (at least partially) by prostitution. The problem is that she claimed to have been set upon by a gang (she survived long enough to be taken to hospital) and her extensive wounds were attributed to a blunt weapon or weapons, not a blade. She was also (it pains me to write) penetrated vaginally with a blunt object, and it was the peritonitis that resulted which caused her death. Drunk b******s seem more likely than a serial-killer in training.

Seems a long shot for a link to Tabram and the subsequent slayings. None at the time made the connection.
 
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Yithian

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Yes, and yes (but only potentially).

In my opinion there's a credible argument that Tabram was the first of the Ripper's victims, before he had established a consistent modus operandi. Much of the key similarities have been lost in the farcical investigation that followed her death. A constable named Thomas Barrett challenged a soldier hanging around George Yard at 2 a.m. on the night of the killing and managed to identify his regiment, rank and lack of decoration, but at a subsequent line-up he identified only Grenadier Guardsmen with alibis.

Mary Ann Connelly AKA 'Pearly Poll', Tabram's companion on the night she died, was also fairly useless. She agreed to a view a line-up of Guardsman and was confident that she would know the two men she and Tabram had liaised with before they parted, but then she vanished for two days. When she turned up again and the line-up finally did take place, she failed to identify the men, but then dropped the fact that the two men had white cap badges: Coldstream Guards, not the Grenadier Guards garrisoning the Tower. A second line-up saw her pick two more men (one of them the wrong rank), each with a solid alibi. The impression gained by the police is that she was enjoying the attention and taking the p***.

There are conceivable victims after Kelly, but only conceivable, not likely.

On the move and on a phone, but will try to dig out details later.

Edit: the three non-cannonical 'possibles' pre-Tabram were Annie Millwood, Ada Wilson and Emma Elizabeth Smith. I'm hazy in the recollection, but I think only the last looks even conceivable. She was attacked just 100 yards from where Tabram would later be (George Yard), also on a Bank Holiday night and supported herself (at least partially) by prostitution. The problem is that she claimed to have been set upon by a gang (she survived long enough to be taken to hospital) and her extensive wounds were attributed to a blunt weapon or weapons, not a blade. She was also (it pains me to write) penetrated vaginally with a blunt object, and it was the peritonitis that resulted which caused her death. Drunk b******s seem more likely than a serial-killer in training.

Seems a long shot for a link to Tabram and the subsequent slayings. None at the time made the connection.
I got lost in my own rambling there and did what I was accusing others of having done: getting distracted by the non-witness witnesses and the games of soldiers!

The points of similarity with the later murders that I failed to list are:-
  • The murder took place in close proximity to a large number of homes in a cramped tenement, yet no sound was heard from the victim and nobody awoke. The superintendent (caretaker) of George Yard buildings, Francis Hewitt, measured the distance from where the body was discovered to where he and his wife slept as just twelve feet. The killer throttled his victim and was very efficient and stifling her cries. Whether this was down to experience or raw strength, we do not know.
  • The logical counter-argument, that Tabram was killed elsewhere and deposited on the first-floor landing is precluded by the absence of blood from any of her thirty-nine stab wounds; she appears to have been murdered where she was found.
  • Contemporary press accounts spoke of the savagery and ferocity of the attack and the victim as having been 'butchered'. The list of wound locations is varied and unpleasant--indicative of a fierce attack. Like with the cannonical victims, this led to the establishment of a local vigilance committee to put minds at some small rest.
  • The non-doctor, Reeves, who found the body said that the victim's pose denoted intercourse had taken place; the doctor, Killeen, did not support this--we have no reason to think the killer had sex with Tabram.
  • The 'bayonet' that hinted at a soldier is likely a red-herring. Only one newspaper account carries the detail, another suggesting only a 'strong instrument' was used for the single wound to the breast bone that did not resemble the other thirty-eight. I would suggest leading questioning by a journalist. There is a description of Dr Killeen's views, but no direct quotation, and, besides, bayonets were on sale to non-soldiers. Most of the damage was done with a knife. While it is true that there was no especial focus on wounding or opening the abdomen and no attempt at purposeful mutilation, this would be consistent with the increased barbarity of attacks in serial killings.
  • The fact that a soldier might have been responsible was re-inforced by Constable Barrett having seen one in the vicinity at 2 a.m. (he said he was waiting for a mate who had gone off with a girl--a prostitute) and Pearly Poll having attested that Martha Tabram went off with a Private soldier as she did his corporal pal. All of this is beside the point. The two couples parted company at 23:45 and Poll lavished 30-40 mins attention on her client; Elizabeth Mahoney and her husband Joseph passed the future scene of the murder at about 01:40 on their way home to No. 47, but Elizabeth went out almost at once and returned home about ten minutes later after purchasing food. Neither of them saw anything. Alfred Crow (a cab-driver) came home to No. 35 at 03:30 and saw a figure lying on the first-floor landing, but assumed a vagrant and did not investigate (this was extremely likely to be the victim). John Reeves at No. 37 finally discovered the body on his way out to work at about 04:45 and Dr Killeen, first to examine the body at around 05:30, suggested that the victim had been dead for three hours. All this gives a time for the attack as between 01:50 and 03:30 (one newspaper says a resident returned home at 02:00 and saw nothing, but detail is lacking), ample time for Tabram to have finished with her soldier, acquired another client elsewhere and returned to the secluded spot for a second tryst.
  • The press being the press, this point is but weak: contemporary journalists explicitly linked the killings of Tabram and Polly Nichols--the same 'lunatic' was widely supposed to have been responsible.
I'd like to stress that none of this is the result of my own analysis; it's all culled from Fido and Sugden and presented here in abbreviated form for easy digestion--I wholeheartedly recommend their books on the case. Sugden, incidentally, concludes that Martha Tabram and Liz Stride were 'probably' Ripper victims. He discounts the difference in style of attack (no disemboweling) as irrelevant given that a) she may well have been the first to die, and b) serial killers have been known to do this. He further notes that Abberline, Anderson, Reid and Dew, contemporary figures far more immersed in the case than we could be, counted Tabram as a 'Ripper' victim, and suspects in the later cases were accordingly questioned about their movements on the night of her death. He posits that Ada Wilson could have been the first attack victim (non-fatal--of which there could have been others), and then Tabram the first murder.
 

dannycheveaux1

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Experts dealing with known serial killers generally state that the killer
had built up their level of crime before reaching their peak. It's very likely
Mary Ann Nichols probably wasn't the first or last to be attacked or killed by Jack.

On another note, during the documentary fronted by ex US cop Ed Norris (only just seen this, sorry)
that investigated the possibility that James Kelly could have gone to America and carried on killing,
it mentions Kelly working as an apprentice upholsterer using a particular knife
to rip out old fabric before new fabric was fitted. On a JTR forum someone in the trade
says a Ripper may be the name given to someone in this role.

If correct, the line "your truly, Jack the Ripper, don't mind me giving the trade name"
in the Dear Boss letter, could be Kelly giving a massive clue to his identity

A google search shows a "Ripper" being linked to fish markets though.
Anyone know any more on this? Should we be looking at fishmongers!?
 

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Cochise

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Experts dealing with known serial killers generally state that the killer
had built up their level of crime before reaching their peak. It's very likely
Mary Ann Nichols probably wasn't the first or last to be attacked or killed by Jack.

On another note, during the documentary fronted by ex US cop Ed Norris (only just seen this, sorry)
that investigated the possibility that James Kelly could have gone to America and carried on killing,
it mentions Kelly working as an apprentice upholsterer using a particular knife
to rip out old fabric before new fabric was fitted. On a JTR forum someone in the trade
says a Ripper may be the name given to someone in this role.

If correct, the line "your truly, Jack the Ripper, don't mind me giving the trade name"
in the Dear Boss letter, could be Kelly giving a massive clue to his identity

A google search shows a "Ripper" being linked to fish markets though.
Anyone know any more on this? Should we be looking at fishmongers!?
There is such a thing as a 'ripping knife', more commonly known these days as a 'riving knife' and it seems to be connected with woodworking.

http://forums.finewoodworking.com/f.../power-tools-and-machinery/bork-ripping-knife
 
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There is such a thing as a 'ripping knife', more commonly known these days as a 'riving knife' and it seems to be connected with woodworking...
That's a US site and there are some differences in woodworking definitions between there and the UK.

A riving knife this side of the water is the fixed flat blade that sits behind the actual cutting blade of a circular saw, table saw etc - it's purpose is to stop the cut (technically the 'kerf') from closing up after the actual saw blade has passed through, which, if it did occur, would make the blade seize and the timber 'kick back'. The riving knife may have a chamfer on it, but it isn't edged like a cutting blade. It's affixed to a larger machine and, of itself, would be bugger all use for killing someone. (Although you could of course mess someone up good and proper with the rest of the saw).
 
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...A google search shows a "Ripper" being linked to fish markets though.
Anyone know any more on this? Should we be looking at fishmongers!?
If you're after red herring, maybe.

Sorry, couldn't resist it - but I suspect that's what this line of enqiry would turn out to be. 'Rip' is such a common word in English - and more specifically to this subject, English trades - that I can't see it really gives us much information. Upholsterers use ripping chisels - and, more generally, tradesmen might use the not entirely dissimilar ripping bar; roofers use a slaters ripper; seamstresses and tailors - stitch-rippers; carpenters use ripsaws. I don't doubt that the list goes on.
 

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Indeed, from the carpentry perspective, ripping is the term given to cutting a plank along its length, as oppressed to transversely.
You can see it as a description of use on disposable hands saw packaging to this day.

I'd be very dubious of an inferal regarding a ripper as as term for an upholsterer without a citation.
 
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Indeed, from the carpentry perspective, ripping is the term given to cutting a plank along its length, as oppressed to transversely...
Yup. Rip and cross-cut, respectively. (Actually, thinking about it Jack the Cross-cutter wouldn't be a bad appellation - I mean, he was clearly quite annoyed about something.)
 

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Jack the Ripper did not struggle with his victims, but quietly killed them in their sleep, an historian has claimed.

While it has always been thought that the five confirmed victims of the mysterious serial killer were soliciting when they were killed, Dr Hallie Rubenhold has said that they were all sleeping, and most of them were rough sleeping.

The historian, who has published her research in a new book, found evidence from reports of the inquests which points to the conclusion that the women were all killed in their sleep.

She sourced much of her research from the London Metropolitan Archive, but also visited a convent of Protestant nuns to uncover the logbooks of a rehabilitation centre that victim Annie Chapman attended.

The coroner said in each case that the women were killed in the reclining position, and that there was no struggle and no noise. This points to the conclusion that they were taken advantage of as they slept in Whitechapel.

They were also found without any money they could have used for a room in a lodging house, suggesting they were rough sleeping.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/18/jack-ripper-killed-victims-sleeping-historian-claims/

Her book on Amazon.

maximus otter
 

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Jack the Ripper did not struggle with his victims, but quietly killed them in their sleep, an historian has claimed.

While it has always been thought that the five confirmed victims of the mysterious serial killer were soliciting when they were killed, Dr Hallie Rubenhold has said that they were all sleeping, and most of them were rough sleeping.

The historian, who has published her research in a new book, found evidence from reports of the inquests which points to the conclusion that the women were all killed in their sleep.

She sourced much of her research from the London Metropolitan Archive, but also visited a convent of Protestant nuns to uncover the logbooks of a rehabilitation centre that victim Annie Chapman attended.

The coroner said in each case that the women were killed in the reclining position, and that there was no struggle and no noise. This points to the conclusion that they were taken advantage of as they slept in Whitechapel.

They were also found without any money they could have used for a room in a lodging house, suggesting they were rough sleeping.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/18/jack-ripper-killed-victims-sleeping-historian-claims/

Her book on Amazon.

maximus otter
You know, at first blush, that's actually quite a plausible theory. It does help explain a few things.
 
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Indeed, from the carpentry perspective, ripping is the term given to cutting a plank along its length, as oppressed to transversely...
And, of course, a mitre square is a device used in carpentry for marking out 45 degree angles.

Mitre Square?

Come on - people have got book deals on less than that!

On a serious note:

You know, at first blush, that's actually quite a plausible theory. It does help explain a few things.
Yes. I'm not absolutely convinced - but it's actually quite interesting, and bears more consideration than so many of the other theories the subject attracts.
 

Victory

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It might be that the women were sleeping rough.

But it also might be that

The women might were in a reclining position because they were having sex?
They might have had a cloth or hand held over or in their mouth to keep them quiet whilst they were murdered?
They might have been drinking locally and were "Mickey Finned", then lead to their place of murder?
 

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Or - as has been suggested in other theories - they were throttled into unconsciousness. Victims did exhibit bruising around the mouth consistent with a hand being placed over and held with some force.
 

Frideswide

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Yes. I'm not absolutely convinced - but it's actually quite interesting, and bears more consideration than so many of the other theories the subject attracts.
Indeed. Anything rather than another book about how it was Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
 

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A DNA analysis of a shawl found next to Katherine Eddowes' body has shown it also has DNA of Aaron Kosminski.
But that to me is not proof Kosminski was the Ripper, because he lived nearby and his DN coudl have been on the street anyway.
Or the shawl was cross contaminated.
Or Kosminski was confused for someone else callad Kaminski.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...say-scientists-conducted-fresh-DNA-tests.html
 

Yithian

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A DNA analysis of a shawl found next to Katherine Eddowes' body has shown it also has DNA of Aaron Kosminski.
But that to me is not proof Kosminski was the Ripper, because he lived nearby and his DN coudl have been on the street anyway.
Or the shawl was cross contaminated.
Or Kosminski was confused for someone else callad Kaminski.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...say-scientists-conducted-fresh-DNA-tests.html
I don't have the source to hand, but the problem last time was, to grossly oversimplify, that they detected the and matched with the wrong kind of DNA. The match was mitochrondrial DNA, that inherited only down the maternal line. It may match Kosminski as well as a large number of other people: literally thousands.

In any case, here's a much better article than the Daily Mail Bowlderisation:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...-analysis-finally-reveal-identity-jack-ripper
 
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maximus otter

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Fascinating and potentially game-changing. l do, however, detect a couple of WTF? comments in the summary:

1. “The first genetic tests on shawl samples were conducted several years ago by Jari Louhelainen, a biochemist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, but he said he wanted to wait for the fuss to die down before he submitted the results.”

You reasonably believe that you have concrete evidence that’ll solve one of the most famous mysteries of all time, but you “wait for the fuss to die down”?

2. “The authors say in their paper that the Data Protection Act...stops them from publishing the genetic sequences of the living relatives of Eddowes and Kosminski. The graphic in the paper, they say, is easier for nonscientists to understand, especially “those interested in true crime.” “

Here is what the UK government says about the DPA. If you can find in there any relevance to the possible solution of a 130-year old serial killing, you’re doing better than me.

My simple question is this: what happened or changed between 2007 (Edwards acquires shawl and has it analysed) and 2014 (Edwards publishes book)?

maximus otter
 

Lord Lucan

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Kosminski is (I suppose) as good a suspect as it gets, but this is just more hype with no definitive proof. I've been researching and reading about the Ripper since the centenary and with each year that passes I feel that our chances of truly knowing who Jack was is rapidly slipping away. Would I like to know who he (or she) was? Absolutely.
 

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I don't have the source to hand, but the problem last time was, to grossly oversimplify, that they detected the and matched with the wrong kind of DNA. The match was mitochrondrial DNA, that inherited only down the maternal line. It may match Kosminski as well as a large number of other people: literally thousands.

In any case, here's a much better article than the Daily Mail Bowlderisation:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...-analysis-finally-reveal-identity-jack-ripper
Absolutely Yith.

In any case the shawl was supposedly taken by a sergeant of the city police, as he thought it would make a nice gift for his wife.

Can we really believe that any self-respecting serving police sergeant, would steal a shawl from a murder victim, that was literally covered in facial matter, blood and seaman to give to his wife as a gift..?

It just doesn’t ring true
 

Dick Turpin

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BTW. I’m not sure why I haven’t posted this before on this board, but there is a family story concerning JTR that has been handed down through the years. There is no way it can be substantiated of course, but it’s still a cool story.

My Father who was born in 1936, was adopted at the age of four months by his great Aunt.

His great aunt was born in 1882, and at the time of the murders the family was living in Brady street, just off the Whitechapel road and literally a few seconds walk from the Polly Nichols murder.

The story handed down was that in the early hours of the 31st of August, the great aunt and her elder brother (I presume they shared a bed) were awoken by shouts, police whistles and general fuss so got out of bed and went outside to see what was going on.

A crowd had gathered in what was then bucks row, and the police were keeping people back and telling them to move on.

There lay the body of Poor Polly Nichols, which as I was told had a cloak had put over the top part of her body.

I’m happy to say that the great Aunt, (we called her Nan obviously) lived to the ripe old age of 98 so I remember her fairly well, and it was her that told me the story and which started my fascination in the ripper case, and all things fortean in general.

Good old Nan.

It’s a shame that I can’t find out if the story was true, or the ramblings an old women in her late 90’s having a bit of fun.
 

Ogdred Weary

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BTW. I’m not sure why I haven’t posted this before on this board, but there is a family story concerning JTR that has been handed down through the years. There is no way it can be substantiated of course, but it’s still a cool story.

My Father who was born in 1936, was adopted at the age of four months by his great Aunt.

His great aunt was born in 1882, and at the time of the murders the family was living in Brady street, just off the Whitechapel road and literally a few seconds walk from the Polly Nichols murder.

The story handed down was that in the early hours of the 31st of August, the great aunt and her elder brother (I presume they shared a bed) were awoken by shouts, police whistles and general fuss so got out of bed and went outside to see what was going on.

A crowd had gathered in what was then bucks row, and the police were keeping people back and telling them to move on.

There lay the body of Poor Polly Nichols, which as I was told had a cloak had put over the top part of her body.

I’m happy to say that the great Aunt, (we called her Nan obviously) lived to the ripe old age of 98 so I remember her fairly well, and it was her that told me the story and which started my fascination in the ripper case, and all things fortean in general.

Good old Nan.

It’s a shame that I can’t find out if the story was true, or the ramblings an old women in her late 90’s having a bit of fun.
Thank you for your story, it's weird to think how close the past is, you have more or less direct link to JTR, History's most famous serial killer almost a century and a half later.
 

Dick Turpin

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Thank you for your story, it's weird to think how close the past is, you have more or less direct link to JTR, History's most famous serial killer almost a century and a half later.

Hi Ogdred.

I like the thought that I have a direct link to the history of JTR, but only if the story were true, and there is no way that I know of in finding that out.
The old man isn’t any help at all, as he clams up with any suggestion of his past - I don’t even know the maiden name of his great aunt so cant even check that there were a family of that name living in Brady street at the time of the murders.

I guess I’ll just have to accept that it’s a family tale with no corroboration whatsoever.
 
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