Jack The Myth

One of the biggest myths about the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders is that the killer’s name, whoever he, or she, was, was Jack the Ripper.

I can say, hand on heart, and without any fear of contradiction that the murderer’s name was not Jack the Ripper. I can also say with certainty that Charles Lechmere, Aaron Kosminski, Montague John Druitt, Dr. Francis Tumblety, nor any of the hundreds of other suspects whose names have been put forward as the possible perpetrator of history’s most notorious crime spree, were not Jack the Ripper.


One of them may have been the Whitechapel murderer, but the name “Jack the Ripper,” is a fiction that first appeared towards the end of September, 1888, when a letter, purporting to have been written by the perpetrator of the crimes, was sent to the office of the Central News Agency, which was on New Bridge Street in the City of London.

Addressed to “The Boss, Central News Office, London, City” the missive began, “Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me, but they won’t fix me just yet.”


It went on to boast in mocking terms about the killer’s escapades thus far, and threatened that people would soon hear of him with his “funny little games.”

But it was the letter’s chilling signature that caught the public imagination – and it wasn’t long before the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders had become universally known as – Jack The Ripper.


Today, the line between the unknown miscreant who carried out the atrocities and the signature on the “Dear Boss” letter has become so blurred as to be virtually non existent, and the killer is now almost always referred to as Jack the Ripper, despite the fact that the Whitechapel murderer and the author of the missive were almost certainly two different people.

Of course, nowadays people really do not separate between the two, and the name Jack the Ripper is more often than not what the killer is referred to, despite the fact that that was most certainly not his, or her, name.

This makes the very name of the killer one of the biggest myths, but it should be remembered that the name was probably the creation of a London journalist, and the missive was almost certainly not written by the person who carried out the Whitechapel murders.