The Ripper Victims

There is a lot of discussion about 'who' was a real Ripper victim, and how many there were.
It is generally agreed the following 5 were 'true' victims :

1. Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, murdered Friday, August 31, 1888.
"Polly" Nichols, about 42 when the Ripper took her life. The estranged wife of a printer, Polly had borne five (?) children before husband William left in 1877. She then became trapped in the downward spiral of drink and prostitution, her final days spent living in the squalid conditions of the East End doss-houses of Flower and Dean Street.
2. Annie Chapman, murdered Saturday, September 8, 1888.
"Dark Annie" met her death on a foggy night, alone, undernourished and probably suffering from brain and lung diseases which would soon have claimed her life. She walked the East End Streets penniless following the death of her husband in 1886. She had two daughters, one dying in 1882, and a crippled son. Selling matches and flowers, and probably living off immoral earnings, Annie was very street-wise. She was buried in secret by her family, at Manor Park on September 14th 1888.
3. Elizabeth Stride, murdered Sunday, September 30, 1888.
"Long Liz" was born in Gottenburg, Sweden (November 1843 ?), named Elisabeth Gustafsdotter. After becoming a prostitute, she moved to London in 1866 and married John Thomas Stride, a carpenter, from Gower Street (?), London. The Strides may have kept a coffee shop until their marriage breakdown in 1882. Long Liz was known to the local police, having had eight convictions for drunkenness before her death. She was killed at Berner Street about 1:00am. Elizabeth Stride was buried in a paupers grave in the East London cemetry.
Although generally considered to be an 'interrupted' Ripper slaying, with just her throat cut, some researchers consider the Long Liz death as a mere coincidence.
4. Catharine Eddowes, also Sunday, September 30, 1888.
"Kate" Catherine Eddowes, born in 1842, the daughter of a metal worker, lived in London's Bermondsey district in early ages. Returned to Wolverhampton, with Thomas Conway, the father of her three children. The couple separated in 1880 -victims of habitual drinking. She lived in London again, where she resided in Flower and Dean Street. After hop picking in Kent, Eddowes went on her final journey via Bishopsgate police cells into the clutches of the unknown murderer. She was buried in an unmarked grave in Ilford on 8th October 1888.
5. Mary Jane Kelly, murdered Friday, November 9, 1888.
Unlike the other victims "Black Mary" was young (25) and attractive, and as a prostitute may have been more suited to West End clients rather than the grim streets of the East End. Mary, born in Limerick Ireland, moved to Wales where she married a miner - later killed in a pit disaster. After turning to prostitution in Cardiff, she moved to London where she worked in a West End brothel and possibly spent a short time in Paris. She lodged in various places around Dorset Street, London - "Wicked Quarter Mile" - and it was indoors at Millers Court that she was found brutally murdered. She lived with Joseph Barnett for about 18 months, until 10 days before her death, when they fell out. She was buried at Walthamstow R.C. cemetry on 19th November. One strange element of her killing is the number of people who 'saw' her hours after her supposed time of death. It has been suggested a 'friend' was killed by mistake for Kelly...
Hers was the worst mutilation of the 5 'agreed' Ripper victims. Also the only 'indoor' killing. It has been postulated she was not, in fact, a 'Ripper' victim, but a copycat killing, using the Ripper to mask the real killer - possibly Barnett?

In view of the location, commonality of names and alias's and the 'profession' of the victims, it has been postulated they all knew each other (and the 'conspiracy' theories suggest this also). But there is no evidence of this.

Other Murder Victims - Not Jack's ??


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Last updated 23 December 1999