Jack the Ripper suspect list. The infamous serial killer who terrorized London’s East End in the late 1880s, has remained one of the most enigmatic figures in the annals of crime. Despite a myriad of investigations and theories over the years, his identity has never been definitively established. However, there have been several suspects who, over time, have been considered more promising than others based on evidence or circumstantial links to the crimes. Here’s a list of some of the most frequently discussed:
- Montague John Druitt: A barrister and schoolteacher who had no known medical skills but was said to have disappeared after the last murder. His own family suspected him due to his “sexual insanity” and his suicide in the Thames River shortly after the last Ripper murder.
- Aaron Kosminski: A Polish barber living in Whitechapel at the time of the murders. He was admitted to a series of lunatic asylums and was known to have violent tendencies. Recent DNA evidence has tried to link him to one of the crime scenes, but this is still debated among experts.
- Dr. Francis Tumblety: An American quack doctor known to have been in London during the murders and had a noticeable disdain for women, especially prostitutes. He had a collection of uteruses and was arrested for unrelated offenses during the time of the murders.
- George Chapman (born Severin Antoniovich Klosowski): A Polish barber-surgeon who poisoned three of his wives in England and was hanged for his crimes. Some police officials believed he could have been the Ripper.
- Thomas Cutbush: A medical student who was committed to an asylum in 1891 for stabbing a woman and was believed to have had a deep-seated hatred for prostitutes.
- James Maybrick: His potential involvement is based largely on a diary that surfaced in the 1990s and purportedly belonged to him, wherein he confessed to the murders. However, the diary’s authenticity has been heavily disputed.
- Walter Sickert: A German-born painter who lived in London. Some believe he may have been the Ripper due to alleged clues in his artwork and a supposed connection to a set of letters known as the “Royal Conspiracy.” Author Patricia Cornwell has been a prominent proponent of this theory.
- Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale: This theory is a more sensational one, suggesting that the heir to the British throne might have been the Ripper. Proponents tie him to a conspiracy involving the royal family, but there’s minimal hard evidence to support this claim.
- Dr. Thomas Neill Cream: A doctor who was hanged for poisoning patients in London. It’s said that his last words were a confession to being Jack the Ripper, but this account is disputed, and he was reportedly in prison in Illinois during some of the Ripper murders.
- Frederick Bailey Deeming: A known criminal who murdered his wife and four children in England after the Ripper murders. Some believe he might have been practicing beforehand in Whitechapel.
These are just a few of the many names on the Jack the Ripper suspect list who’ve been proposed over the years. Each theory comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and the true identity of Jack the Ripper may remain an enigma forever.