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The Real Jack the Ripper

Cutting Through the Fog of the  Jack the Ripper Myth


Richard JonesThe Real JTR is honoured to have Richard Jones, Best Selling author, broadcaster, historian and all round Ripper authority, writing an exclusive article on the case for this site. As well as all the above, Richard is also the man behind the best JTR walking tour out there and so if you want to walk in the killer’s footsteps give his site a visit at jack-the-ripper-tour.com Click pic. for the PDF of Richard's The Hunt For Jack the Ripper.

Howard BrownHoward Brown, proprietor of the JTR Forums, top Ripper newspaper sleuth and relentless researcher, has kindly allowed me to republish one of his articles that originally appeared in ‘Ripperologist Magazine’. If you haven’t yet joined the JTR Forums I would urge you to do so - you’ll be made more than welcome! Click pic. for the PDF of How’s Marketing the Ripper.

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Jack the Ripper - ITV Crime Monthly

New Suspect Compared to the FBI Profile:
Charles Lechmere/Cross

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Joseph Barnett Was Jack The Ripper?

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Jack the Ripper Book Reviews


The Reality of the Ripper

Jack the Ripper, the architect of the autumn of terror, 1888, in Whitechapel, East London; a faceless bogeyman that dozens of theorists have since tried to pin an identity to. Theories range from the futile to the fantastic, too few of them focussing on what we have learned from Jack’s modern-daybest jack the ripper books counterparts.

This website’s aim is not to add yet another fanciful face to the ever-growing gallery of the 'not guilty' or suspect to the Ripper book library, but it will hopefully sketch a helpful silhouette of the Whitechapel Murderer; a likely profile that Jack will fit in to. Modern experts know infinitely more now about the nature of such killers than the antiquated Victorian police ever could have – a knowledge that has stemmed, sadly, from the apparent abundance of serial killers we have nowadays.

With, admittedly, some very occasional discrepancies, these serial killers tend to fit a mould. You don’t have to be an expert to see this pattern evolve: just a little research into other notorious killers will reveal similar people from similar backgrounds committing similar crimes.

Jack the Ripper is not unique; he is not something special. He is just one of history's many maladjusted murderers. Unfortunately, however, he was one who was never caught. As  a consequence, until his real name and nature are known, his myth and legend will live on in a fog.

the real jack the ripper

It Begins...

Many of the sections below employ John Douglas’ FBI profile of the Ripper as their foundation. Profiling is not an exact science and I’m sure that even Douglas would agree that it’s unlikely that he’s one hundred percent correct with his outline of the killer. Nevertheless, I feel that if we are to ever unmask the Whitechapel fiend, it is better to know what kind of man we are looking for first, and I think Douglas’ profile is strong enough to get us close.

A profile’s aim is not to identify a culprit directly; it is a tool which helps to narrow down the field: it looks to identify a personality type rather than a person. Profiling’s merits have been called into question a number of times since its advent, but even if we only allow it a fifty percent hit rate, that’s got to be better than the big, fat zero we’ve managed to achieve by picking random suspects out of the air for the last 125 years!

With this in mind, proceed through the sections opposite and below and ask yourself: realistically, who would have fitted the profile? Using this method you will see many of the usual suspects' candidacies for being the real Jack the Ripper evaporate. But you will also find a tiny minority that fit rather well.

jack the ripper questions

"Jack the Ripper Questions" is a part of the site which deals with miscellaneous aspects of the Whitechapel Murders - anything from the murderer's mind to Ripper books on sale. Anybody is free to write a short article here on any facet of the case which they find interesting or intriguing. Click the button above to visit the archive or post a comment.

jack the ripper documentaries

The JTR Theatre has free documentaries, interviews and other films connected to the Ripper case. More will be added in due course. Click the button above to enter.

Jack

The three sections below focus on the man, his environment and, finally, the series of murders themselves – all surmised from the possible mind-set of the murderer and all worded in the first-person.  Of course, these autobiographical works are fictional. They are there simply to echo the opinions of various modern-day criminal profilers and ripperologists on what the Whitechapel Murderer would  have been like. 

Click the relevant button to proceed...

Victims

These sections relate more to the victims of the Whitechapel Murderer. They include a short biography of each of the 'canonical' five, their respective post-mortems, and a map showing the locations of the murder scenes. It should not be forgotten that these women had their lives taken by the fiend, and whether or not we question their lack of moral scruples, they certainly didn’t deserve such horrible demises.

Click the relevant button to proceed...

Suspects

The suspects: is Jack amongst them? In these three sections you’ll find Douglas' FBI profile of Jack the Ripper (PDF); the compatibility with the profile of the suspects; and, finally, my own opinion. I will be adding more suspects over time and so it's worth checking back now and again to see how the new faces measure up against the FBI test. I will only be adding suspects where there is enough historical data available for them.

Click the relevant button to proceed...
jack the ripper jack the ripper victims john douglas fbi jack the ripper profile
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Jack the Ripper Book Reviews

All Books are Available in this Site's Jack the Ripper Stores: UK  US

The Complete Jack the Ripper By Donald Rumbelow

The first book I ever read on the case and, luckily for me, one of the very best! It has, of course, been revised several times since that early edition I fascinatedly flicked through, and yet this latest update still manages to keep its place as one of the essential Ripper reads. Donald Rumbelow, if you are new to the Whitechapel Murders, is one of the very best commentators on the case; he is level-headed, speaks a great deal of sense and doesn’t waste your time (or money) with dubious theories or biased nonsense; he tells it like it is – or was. This latest paperback is well worth the small investment if you’ve never encountered “The Don” before!

Sugden, a true authority on the history of the Ripper crimes, takes a no-nonsense look at the Autumn of Terror: his book is a serious study into the Whitechapel Murders and is not written with sensational theory seekers in mind! It is a very informative work in which the author does his utmost to separate the fact from the fiction. He even examines the work of other ‘ripperologists’ and points out their shortcomings, and even where they, the other experts, have succumbed to various Jack the Ripper myths! This book is a must for the serious Ripper researchers out there! It is very reasonably priced and is available in both digital and paper formats.

complete jack the ripper book
london jack the ripper book

The London of Jack the Ripper: Then and Now by Robert Clack and Philip Hutchinson

This cracking book, as well as, of course, covering Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror, would interest people with a more general interest in the old East End of London too. With many previously unpublished pictures and photographs, the authors take the reader on a tour of the crime scenes as well as other notable landmarks in the Ripper case such as the doss houses and pubs. But also covered in the book are the other changes in the area where the victims once walked and at what time they occurred. The book doesn’t just concentrate on the ‘canonical five’ either: the history of each of the eleven Whitechapel Murders is covered as well as their locations, and views are given as to whether any of the contemporary attacks and homicides could also be the work of the Ripper.

The authors do a very good job of leading the reader through the victims’ (and, of course, Jack’s) world and even describe how best to retrace the poor unfortunates’ final footsteps! I very much enjoyed this book: it’s not there to name a sensational suspect or to put forward some radical theory, it just clearly and concisely documents Whitechapel from the Autumn of Terror onwards. I heartily recommend!

The Complete History of Jack the Ripper by Philip Sugden

The late, great Philip Sugden, a true authority on the history of the Ripper crimes in his time, takes a no-nonsense look at the Autumn of Terror. His book is a serious study into the Whitechapel Murders and is not written with sensational theory seekers in mind! It is a very informative work in which the author does his utmost to separate the fact from the fiction.

Sugden even examines the work of other ‘ripperologists’ and points out their shortcomings, and even where they, the other experts, have succumbed to various Jack the Ripper myths! This book is a must for the serious Ripper researchers out there! It is very reasonably priced and is available in several formats.

history jack the ripper book

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