As we approach Halloween and focus on the dark side of life I wanted to look at some real-life spooky tales and none more sinister than the gruesome tale of Jack the Ripper. Hard to imagine it’s been 130 years this year since this Victorian bogeyman first started stalking the streets of Whitechapel in London. The Ripper killed five women (maybe more) in the autumn of 1888, his calling card in the shape of a mutilated body. Despite hundreds of police investigations and armchair detective theories he was never caught and his identity remains as elusive today as it did back in 1888. There have been numerous attempts to unmask the fiend and thus we give you some of the best theories and conspiracies to have come out in the last 100 years.
Jack the Ripper was a woman
What if the Ripper wasn’t a Jack, but more a Jill? The idea that the Ripper may have been a woman isn’t as crazy as it sounds. It was an idea that was first put forward by none other than Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The theory suggests that Jack the Ripper was a deranged midwife who, under the pretence of carrying out abortions, stalked the streets of London and committed the murders. This would explain how the killer managed to evade the biggest manhunt in British history at that time. All the officers were on the lookout for a man. One name that has been suggested is the Victorian murderer Mary Pearcey, who cut a woman’s throat before dumping her body in the street. The crime did show some striking similarities to the Ripper murders in Whitechapel.
It was a member of the Royal Family
No matter where you go in the world, you will always find someone who thinks the Ripper murders are connected to the royalty. The theory started back in the 1970’s when Dr Thomas Stowell produced an article in a magazine called “the criminologist”, claiming to have read the personal diaries of Sir William Gull, Queen Victoria’s personal physician. According to Gull’s diary, Prince Albert Victor, Queen Victoria’s grandson, and heir to the throne of England, contracted syphilis from some of the East End prostitutes. This drove him mad and he eventually went on to kill the women, before being locked away in an asylum with a fake death certificate being issued to explain his disappearance. The really interesting part of this story is that Prince Albert Victor died in 1892, at the same time the Whitechapel murders file was closed. Furthermore, one week after Dr Thomas Stowell released the story that Prince Albert was Jack the Ripper, he ran a retraction in the papers. The next day, he died. Gull’s diary, if it did exist, has never been seen since.
Jack the Ripper wrote Alice in Wonderland
In 1996, the author Richard Wallace made a case that Jack the Ripper was none other than the celebrated author Lewis Carroll. This outrageous theory surfaced when Wallace found vague references and anagrams in Lewis Carroll’s novels which pointed to him being the Ripper. Carroll was born in 1832, making him 56 at the time of the Ripper murders. In Wallace’s book, Jack the Ripper: Light-Hearted Friend, he suggests Carroll had an upbringing similar to that of several serial killers and in truth would match the profile of the kind of person the police in 1888, should have been looking for.
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