An American Jack The Ripper

Although the Jack the Ripper murders are generally agreed to have occurred over a period of just three months in the autumn of 1888, numerous murders that occurred fro many years afterwards were often attributed to the Whitechapel murderer by police forces the world over.

On Saturday, 28th March, 1896, The Illustrated Police News carried the following report on an attack on a woman in San Francisco that, so the article claimed, was linked to the East End murderer:-


“A woman named Wilson reported to the police at San Francisco on Saturday morning that a man whom she met in the street and accompanied home had attempted to strangle her with a knotted cloth, which he tied round her neck.

After he thought he had her securely bound the man told her that he was “Jack the Ripper,” and was known also as “Jack the Strangler,” and added that he told all his victims this before killing them.

He then recited the murders he had committed in London and in the United States during the past year, but, before he had added to the list by the commission of another crime, Wilson, who is a strong muscular woman grappled with him and succeeded in freeing herself.

The man then fled.

Wilson describes the would-be murderer as a man of about forty years of age, of’ medium height, and with a blonde moustache. He is dressed in an English-made suit, light overcoat, and high hat, and wears diamond studs and kid gloves.


From the brief details given by the woman Wilson, the police are able to identify the man as a person who is “wanted” for no less than nine murders committed in the United States within the last two years. All the crimes bear a strange resemblance in the manner of their execution and the sex of the Victim.

The fiend’s method was to tie a knotted handkerchief so tightly around the neck of his victim that the double knot sank deep into the flesh and the unhappy being died of strangulation.


The first murder seems to have been committed at  New York on May 30, 1894, then followed another at Buffalo on June 30, the third was at Cincinnati|on July 30, the fourth at Denver on September 30, and the fifth on October 30. Changing his date of the month, the fiend committed his sixth murder at Denver on November 13, his seventh at San Francisco on December 13, and his eighth and ninth in the same city on February 13 and March 13 respectively.

Friday’s attempt on the woman Wilson was apparently intended to open a new series.

The description given of the man’s appearance by those who had seen him in the company of one or more of his victims in Denver agrees with that given by the. woman Wilson.

The San Francisco police seem to believe that the murderer is the original Jack the Ripper.”