Although the main letter in the saga of the Whitechapel murders has to have been the infamous “Dear Boss” missive – I say main because it was signed Jack the Ripper and thus gave the murderer thane name by which he is now universally known -there were, of course, many letters that bore the same signature
In previous blogs, I have featured letters that were being received in January 1889 – one of them being a letter that was sent to a recipient in Manchester, which shows just how quickly the craze for creating letters from the supposed miscreant soon caught on.
CRANKS AND CRACKPOTS
Of course, the majority, if not all, of these letters were the work of cranks and crackpots, with a far number of them being from those who simply found the allure of the case irresistible.
People, such as Welsh housewife Miriam Howells, saw nothing wrong with imitating the original “Dear Boss” letter, when, in her case, she sent a letter signed by Jack the Ripper to one of her neighbours.
MISHTER LUSK’S LETTER
However, of all the letters – and there were thousands of them – the one that is still debated over, and the one which many people believe may actually have been written by the killer, was the one sent to Mr. George Lusk, in mid-October 1888.
Addressed “From Hell,” and referring to the recipient as “Mishter Lusk”, the letter, or at least the package of which the letter was a part, contained a portion of a human kidney which the writer claimed he had taken from the body of Catherine Eddowes, whose murder had taken place on the 30th of September in Mitre Square.
I have created a YouTube video that deals extensively with the George Lusk letter, and argues the case for and against it having been written by the murderer.
I DON’T THINK SO SOMEHOW
My own personal opinion is that the letter was not written or sent by the killer and that the kidney was not a portion of the one that was taken from the body of Catherine Eddowes.
I believe that the missive and package were a hoax that was perpetrated by a medical student, possibly one that was attending the London Hospital.
WE’LL NEVER KNOW FOR CERTAIN
However, since neither the kidney nor the actual letter has survived, it is now all but impossible for us to draw any definitive conclusion as to its having been sent by the killer.
As with so many strands in the case, we can only really say that it might or might not have been!