An oft raised question by those who join us on our tour of the murder sites is “wouldn’t he have been covered in blood when he fled through the streets of the East End?”
The answer to the question is “probably not.”
The evidence suggests that Jack the Ripper actually asphyxiated his victims before he commenced the horrific mutilations that were, very much his hallmark. In other words their hearts would have stopped beating and therefore there wouldn’t have been the arterial spurt that could have drenched him in blood.
Furthermore, it has to be remembered that the murders took place in the autumn (or fall) going in to the winter of 1888. So there is a high probability that he would have been wearing an overcoat.
When he met with his victims, and went with them to the dark squares and passageways where their bodies were later found, they were going there for one purpose and one purpose only. They wouldn’t have been in the least bit suspicious if he unbuttoned his coat when they got to the murder sites, or even if he took the overcoat off altogether. Indeed, they’d probably have been more suspicious if he kept it on!
So, having murdered his victims and carried out his mutilations, he might have had blood on his hands, shirt and jacket, but by putting his coat back on, and then buttoning it up, the bloodstains would have been hidden until he got home and was able to clean himself up at his leisure.
The other point to make about a bloodstained ripper is that, with the large number of butchers shops and slaughterhouses that there were in the district, it wasn’t that unusual to see people going about at night with bloodstained hands. So, even if he did have blood on his hands, providing he did nothing to draw attention to himself he could simply have been taken form a slaughter man or butcher.