There have been countless attempts to solve the brutal murders committed over 100 years ago by Jack the Ripper, but this most famous of British criminal cases finally benefits from a clear, professional eye to analyze the evidence with all the benefits of modern investigative techniques. Former murder squad detective Trevor Marriott considers a mystery that has enthralled millions. Casting aside the rumors, fantasies, and urban legends which have haunted this case for so long, he produces some startling results: while it has long been accepted that Jack the Ripper killed only five women, Marriot believes there were up to nine victims. Most astonishingly of all, a previously unconsidered suspect who also committed murders in America and Germany has been firmly put in the frame. All previous theories are refuted in what may possibly be the final word on the Ripper murders.
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Jack the Ripper
The 21st Century Investigation
By Trevor Marriott
John Blake Publishing LtdCopyright © 2007 Trevor Marriott
All rights reserved.
Emma Elizabeth Smith, 45-year-old mother of two and a prostitute, was attacked in Osborn Street, off Whitechapel Road, on 2 April 1888, four months before the main series of murders started. A blunt instrument was savagely thrust into her vagina and she died in hospital the next day. The only other wounds she had were cuts and abrasions to her head and one ear.
Was Emma Smith the first Ripper victim? Or could she have been attacked by one of the many gangs who frequented the Whitechapel area, extorting money from prostitutes and other downtrodden women in return for their protection? It wasn't until September 1888 that Smith was first looked on as a possible Ripper victim, and then only by the press, and only because other, later victims had their sexual organs attacked and mutilated and because the attack occurred in the same locality as those on later victims. The inquest was presided over by Mr Wynne E Baxter, the Coroner for East Middlesex:
Saturday, 7 April 1888
... Mrs Mary Russell, deputy keeper of a common lodging-house, stated that she had known the deceased for about two years. On the evening of Bank Holiday 2nd April she left home at 7 o'clock, and returned about 4 or 5 the next morning in a dreadful state. Her face and head were much injured, one of her ears being nearly torn off. She told the witness that she had been set upon and robbed of all her money. She also complained of pains in the lower part of the body. Witness took her to the hospital, and when passing along Osborn Street the deceased pointed out the spot where she was assaulted. She said there were three men, but she could not describe them.
Mr George Haslip, house surgeon, stated that when the deceased was admitted to the hospital she had been drinking but was not intoxicated. She was bleeding from the head and ear, and had other injuries of a revolting nature. Witness found that she was suffering from rupture of the peritoneum, which had been perforated by some blunt instrument used with great force. The deceased told him that at 1.30 am that morning she was passing near Whitechapel Church when she noticed some men coming towards her. She crossed the road to avoid them, but they followed, assaulted her, took all the money she had, and then committed the outrage. She was unable to say what kind of instrument was used, nor could she describe her assailants, except that she said that one was a youth of 19. Death ensued on Wednesday morning 4th April through peritonitis set up by the injuries.
Margaret Hayes, living at the same address as the deceased, deposed to seeing Mrs Smith in company with a man at the corner of Farrant Street and Burdett Road. The man was dressed in a dark suit and wore a white silk handkerchief round his neck. He was of medium height, but witness did not think she could identify him. ... The jury returned a verdict of 'Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.'
I conclude from this report that Emma Smith's death was in no way connected to the later murders. As the report confirms, Whitechapel was a crime-ridden area where violent assault and murder were common occurrences. Smith was probably attacked and punished for disobeying one of the many gangs responsible for running prostitutes at that time, and her attack illustrates the degree of violence to which these gangs would resort.
The report states that she told two separate people that she had been attacked by a group or gang of men. She may or may not have known their identities. In any event, she did not name anyone. I believe that, if she did know the names of some or all of her attackers, she chose not to give them for fear of reprisal.CHAPTER 2
A plump, middle-aged prostitute, Martha Tabram was stabbed to death in George Yard on 7 August 1888.
On the previous evening Tabram was seen with another prostitute in various public houses in Whitechapel. At around 11.45pm she was seen going into George Yard with a soldier, presumably to have sex. There were no more sightings of her before her body was found at 4.45am on the stairs in George Yard Buildings, a tenement block. A resident of the building used the stairs at 1.30am and saw nothing suspicious. Another, on returning home at 3.30am, saw what he thought was someone sleeping on the stairs and paid no attention.
At 4.45am, a third resident was on his way to work. By this time, daylight was breaking and he found Tabram lying in a pool of blood on the stairs. Her lower garments were in a state of disarray, suggesting intercourse had taken place. (There is some evidence of this having occurred with later Ripper victims.)
A police surgeon visited the scene at 5.30am and estimated the time of death at around 2.30–2.45am. There were 39 stab wounds.
In the report of the inquest, presided over by Mr G Collier, Deputy Coroner for South East Middlesex, the doctor stated that the focus of the wounds was the breasts, belly and groin. In his opinion, he said, a right-handed attacker inflicted all but one of the wounds, and all but one seemed to have been the result of an 'ordinary pen-knife'. There was, however, one wound on the sternum which appeared to have been inflicted by a dagger or bayonet.
Day One: Thursday, 9 August 1888
... Dr T.R. Killeen, of 68, Brick-lane, said that he was called to the deceased, and found her dead. She had 39 stabs on the body. She had been dead some three hours. Her age was about 36, and the body was very well nourished. Witness had since made a post-mortem examination of the body. The left lung was penetrated in five places, and the right lung was penetrated in two places. The heart, which was rather fatty, was penetrated in one place, and that would be sufficient to cause death. The liver was healthy, but was penetrated in five places, the spleen was penetrated in two places, and the stomach, which was perfectly healthy, was penetrated in six places. The witness did not think all the wounds were inflicted with the same instrument. The wounds generally might have been inflicted by a knife, but such an instrument could not have inflicted one of the wounds, which went through the chest-bone. His opinion was that one of the wounds was inflicted by some kind of dagger, and that all of them were caused during life.
The Coroner said he was in hope that the body would be identified, but three women had identified it under three different names. He therefore proposed to leave that question open until the next occasion. [The inquest was adjourned for a fortnight.]
Day Two: Thursday, 23 August 1888
... The body has been identified as that of Martha Tabram, aged 39 or 40 years, the wife of a foreman packer at a furniture warehouse.
Henry Samuel Tabram, 6, River Terrace, East Greenwich, husband of the deceased woman, said he last saw her alive about 18 months ago, in the Whitechapel Road. They had been separated for 13 years, owing to her drinking habits....
Henry Turner, a carpenter, staying at the Working Men's Home, Commercial Street, Spitalfields, stated that he had been living with the woman Tabram as his wife for about nine years. Two or three weeks previously to this occurrence he ceased to do so. He had left her on two or three occasions in consequence of her drinking habits, but they had come together again. He last saw her alive on Saturday, the 4th inst., in Leadenhall Street. He then gave her 1 shilling and sixpence to get some stock. When she had money she spent it in drink. While living with witness deceased's usual time for coming home was about 11 o'clock. As far as he knew she had no regular companion and he did not know that she walked the streets....
Mary Ann Connolly ('Pearly Poll'), who at the suggestion of [Detective] Inspector [Edmund] Reid [H Division, Metropolitan Police] was cautioned in the usual manner before being sworn, stated she had been for the last two nights living at a lodging-house in Dorset Street, Spitalfields. Witness was a single woman. She had known the woman Tabram for about four or five months. She knew her by the name of Emma. She last saw her alive on Bank Holiday night, when witness was with her about three-quarters of an hour, and they separated at 11.45pm. Witness was with Tabram and two soldiers, one a private and one a corporal. She did not know what regiment they belonged to, but they had white bands round their caps. After they separated, Tabram went away with the private, and witness accompanied the corporal up Angel Alley. There was no quarrelling between any of them. Witness had been to the barracks to identify the soldiers, and the two men she picked out were, to the best of her belief, the men she and Tabram were with. The men at the Wellington Barracks were paraded before witness. One of the men picked out by witness turned out not to be a corporal, but he had stripes on his arm.
Detective Inspector Reid made a statement of the efforts made by the police to discover the perpetrator of the murder. Several persons had stated that they saw the deceased woman on the previous Sunday with a corporal, but when all the corporals and privates at the Tower and Wellington Barracks were paraded before them they failed to identify the man. The military authorities afforded every facility to the police. 'Pearly Poll' picked out two men belonging to the Coldstream Guards at the Wellington Barracks. One of those men had three good conduct stripes, and he was proved beyond doubt to have been with his wife from 8 o'clock on the Monday night until 6 o'clock the following morning. The other man was also proved to have been in barracks at 10.05 p.m. on Bank Holiday night....
The Coroner having summed up, the jury returned a verdict to the effect that person or persons unknown had murdered the deceased.
After closely examining all the facts of this murder, I decided there are many which suggest Martha Tabram's murder was not connected to Emma Smith's but may be connected to later murders attributed to Jack the Ripper.
The wounds inflicted on Tabram, while savage in their execution, were just stab wounds, as described. The later victims' bodies were subjected to even more savage attack and mutilation. In Tabram's case, by contrast with these others, her sexual organs were not attacked or mutilated.
It should also be noted that she may have been killed either during sexual intimacy or shortly afterwards. The reason for her attack could have been that she was caught trying to rob her client – a practice common in those days among prostitutes while engaging in sexual acts.
Among all the later victims there was only one instance of a clear sign of intimacy having taken place at the time of death, and that was in the case of Alice McKenzie, whose clothes were found up around her chest. Some of these victims, however, were found with their clothes in disarray, and there is evidence to suggest that some of them were throttled to the point of unconsciousness or strangled. In Tabram's case, there was no evidence of this.
As to the doctor's suggestion that the attacker may have been right-handed, I suggest, having studied sketches of the pattern and location of the wounds, that the attacker could equally have been right-handed or left-handed.
Most experts do not believe that Martha Tabram was murdered by the Ripper, but, having looked closely at this murder, I cannot rule out the possibility that she was an early victim of his. Her body was subjected to dozens of stab wounds. Her killer at this time had with him only a small knife, and not being able to savagely mutilate the bodies, as was perhaps his intention, later changed his weapon to a longer-bladed knife.
The specific wound which the doctor says may have been caused by a dagger, I suggest he may be wrong. This area of the body is a very fleshy area and a stab in that area would split the skin, making a wound which would give the appearance that a larger knife had been used. This could also have been one of the first wounds inflicted on her and could have been inflicted with such force as to penetrate deeper than the stab wounds which followed.CHAPTER 3
MARY ANN NICHOLS
Mary Ann Nichols, known as Polly, was 43 when she was murdered in a narrow, cobbled street called Buck's Row (now Durward Street) on Friday, 31 August 1888. The prostitute was last seen alive around 2.30am and was found in the street at 3.45am. Witnesses who found her suggest she may have been clinging to life. If that was so, the killer was very lucky not to have been seen either committing the killing or making his escape.
The inquest into the death of 'a woman supposed to be Mary Ann Nichols' was presided over by Mr Wynne E Baxter, the Coroner for South East Middlesex. Material from the inquest report follows.
Day One: Saturday, 1 September 1888
... Edward Walker: I live at 15, Maidwell Street, Albany Road, Camberwell, and have no occupation. I was a smith when I was at work, but I am not now. I have seen the body in the mortuary, and to the best of my belief it is my daughter; but I have not seen her for three years. I recognise her by her general appearance and by a little mark she has had on her forehead since she was a child. She also had either one or two teeth out, the same as the woman I have just seen. My daughter's name was Mary Ann Nichols, and she had been married twenty-two years. Her husband's name is William Nichols, and he is alive. He is a machinist. They have been living apart about seven or eight years. I last heard of her before Easter. She was forty-two years of age....
Coroner: Have you any reasonable doubt that this is your daughter?
Walker: No, I have not....
Constable John Neil (J Division): Yesterday morning I was proceeding down Buck's Row, Whitechapel, going towards Brady Street. There was not a soul about. I had been round there half an hour previously, and I saw no one then. I was on the right-hand side of the street, when I noticed a figure lying in the street. ... Deceased was lying lengthways along the street, her left hand touching the gate. I examined the body by the aid of my lamp, and noticed blood oozing from a wound in the throat. She was lying on her back, with her clothes disarranged. I felt her arm, which was quite warm from the joints upwards. Her eyes were wide open. Her bonnet was off and lying at her side, close to the left hand. ... [Dr Henry Llewellyn] arrived in a very short time. ... The doctor looked at the woman and then said, 'Move her to the mortuary [at Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary]. She is dead, and I will make a further examination of her.' We placed her on the ambulance, and moved her there. Inspector Spratling came to the mortuary, and while taking a description of the deceased turned up her clothes, and found that she was disembowelled. This had not been noticed by any of them before. On the body was found a piece of comb and a bit of looking glass. No money was found, but an unmarked white handkerchief was found in her pocket.
Coroner: Did you notice any blood where she was found?
Constable Neil: There was a pool of blood just where her neck was lying. It was running from the wound in her neck.
Coroner: Did you hear any noise that night?
Constable Neil: No; I heard nothing. The farthest I had been that night was just through the Whitechapel Road and up Baker's Row. I was never far away from the spot.
Coroner: Whitechapel Road is busy in the early morning, I believe. Could anybody have escaped that way?
Constable Neil: Oh yes, sir. I saw a number of women in the main road going home. At that time anyone could have got away....
Dr Henry Llewellyn: On Friday morning I was called to Buck's Row about 4am. The constable told me what I was wanted for. On reaching Buck's Row I found the deceased woman laying flat on her back in the pathway, her legs extended. I found she was dead, and that she had severe injuries to her throat. Her hands and wrists were cold, but the body and lower extremities were warm. I examined her chest and felt the heart. It was dark at the time. I believe she had not been dead more than half-an-hour. I am quite certain that the injuries to her neck were not self-inflicted. There was very little blood round the neck. There were no marks of any struggle or of blood, as if the body had been dragged. ... [In the mortuary I] saw that the abdomen was cut very extensively. I have this morning made a post-mortem examination of the body. I found it to be that of a female about forty or forty-five years. Five of the teeth are missing, and there is a slight laceration of the tongue. On the right side of the face there is a bruise running along the lower part of the jaw. It might have been caused by a blow with the fist, or pressure by the thumb. On the left side of the face there was a circular bruise, which also might have been done by the pressure of the fingers. On the left side of the neck, about an inch below the jaw, there was an incision about four inches long and running from a point immediately below the ear. An inch below on the same side, and commencing about an inch in front of it, was a circular incision terminating at a point about three inches below the right jaw. This incision completely severs all the tissues down to the vertebrae. The large vessels of the neck on both sides were severed. The incision is about eight inches long. These cuts must have been caused with a long-bladed knife, moderately sharp, and used with great violence. No blood at all was found on the breast [area] either of the body or clothes. There were no injuries about the body till just about the lower part of the abdomen. Two or three inches from the left side was a wound running in a jagged manner. It was a very deep wound, and the tissues were cut through. There were several incisions running across the abdomen. On the right side there were also three or four similar cuts running downwards. All these had been caused by a knife, which had been used violently and been used downwards. The wounds were from left to right, and might have been done by a left-handed person. The same instrument had done all the injuries....
Excerpted from Jack the Ripper by Trevor Marriott. Copyright © 2007 Trevor Marriott. Excerpted by permission of John Blake Publishing Ltd.
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Table of Contents
Part One: Victims,
Chapter One: Emma Smith,
Chapter Two: Martha Tabram,
Chapter Three: Mary Ann Nichols,
Chapter Four: Annie Chapman,
Chapter Five: Elizabeth Stride,
Chapter Six: Catherine Eddowes,
Chapter Seven: Mary Jane Kelly,
Chapter Eight: Alice McKenzie,
Chapter Nine: Frances Coles,
Part Two: On the Trail of the Ripper,
Chapter Ten: Motives,
Chapter Eleven: Evidence,
Chapter Twelve: The Ripper Letters,
Chapter Thirteen: A Long List of Suspects,
Chapter Fourteen: Montague John Druitt,
Chapter Fifteen: Thomas Cutbush,
Chapter Sixteen: Aaron Kosminski,
Chapter Seventeen: George Chapman,
Chapter Eighteen: Michael Ostrog,
Chapter Nineteen: John Pizer,
Chapter Twenty: Francis Tumblety,
Chapter Twenty-One: Joseph Barnett,
Chapter Twenty-Two: Prince Albert Victor,
Chapter Twenty-Three: James Maybrick,
Chapter Twenty-Four: Walter Sickert,
Chapter Twenty-Five: Who was Jack the Ripper?,
Chapter Twenty-Six: The Future,
Chapter Twenty-Seven: Case Closed,