Have you ever wondered who Jack the Ripper was?
It might seem an odd question as everybody at some stage or another, or at least anyone with the remotest interest in the crimes must have, at some stage or another, pondered the identity of the world’s most famous murderer.
Having spent the past thirty years researching the Jack the Ripper crimes and leading Jack the Ripper Walks around the area where the murders occurred, I have pondered this question many times. I have seen suspects come and suspects go and have read almost every book on the Whitechapel Murders that has ever been published.
And, the more I read about the crimes, the more I realise that we will probably never know who Jack the Ripper was.
When people on the Jack the Ripper Tour ask me who I think it was I always give a shrug of the shoulders and reply with words to the effect that I haven’t got the foggiest idea!
We know that some of the police officers who investigated the case had their own favoured suspects, and some of them went on record to name their favoured suspect. But, the problem from the point of view of a Ripperologist, is that, whenever particular police officer named a particular suspect he invariably named different suspects, and we known for a fact that some of those “favoured” suspects emphatically weren’t Jack the Ripper.
So over the last few years I’ve long since given up hunting the ripper and have, instead, focussed on the history of the crimes and what they can teach us about the era and the area in which they occurred.
To me this provides a far more interesting perspective on Jack the Ripper’s age than thousands of books that devote page upon page to convince their readers that their hot new suspect is the holy grail of Ripperology, the one and only Jack the Ripper.