This letter provided the strongest link to the letter writer and an actual murder that was committed. There are varying degrees concerning the authenticity of this package and letter (Barbee 2006). Nonetheless, officials did know that this particular victim had Bright's disease, which changes the way that the kidneys look (Barbee 2006). The piece of the kidney that was sent is consistent with someone with this particular disease (Barbee 2006).
As it relates more specifically to evidence related to this crime, a great deal of the evidence has been damaged or misplaced (Barbee 2006). According to the author during this particular time in history police did not have the ability to test DNA and as such the only way this killer or any criminal could be caught was in the act of the crime or as a result of a confession (Barbee 2006). As it relates to Jack the Ripper there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding who the killer was and to complicate matters the crimes were investigated by two different police forces (Barbee 2006). The Scotland Yard police force was responsible for investigating all of the murders that occurred in the boroughs while the crimes that occurred in center of London was performed by a separate police force (Barbee 2006). The Eddowes murder was committed in the city of London (Barbee 2006). The author reports that for the most part the two forces worked together to solve the murders, however there is some evidence that suggest that the senior official of each force did not get along (Barbee 2006).
Whatever the case may have been as it relates to how the police forces worked together most experts do not place blame on either police force as it relates to their inability to solve these cases (Barbee 2006). The author contends that the investigations conducted by Scotland Yard were only inclusive of taking statements from some individuals and performing autopsies (Barbee 2006). This led to allegations that the police force was not competent and the department was criticized for not offering a reward in the case (Barbee 2006).
On the other hand many have asserted that the City of London police conducted a better investigation (Barbee 2006).. This is because this police force created drawings of the crime scene and they also took many photographs Eddowes. Eddowes was the only woman murdered to have her photograph taken at the crime scene (Barbee 2006).
The author also explains that there were some disagreements between the two police departments as it related to some writing that was found on Goulston Street on the night of September 30th when the two women were killed. The author explains that on this night piece of Eddowes' apron, which the Ripper used to wipe off his knife, was found by a constable near a doorway that had a chalked message over the door. This message, "The Juwes are the men That Will not be blamed for nothing," may have been written by the Ripper and the City police officers wanted to photograph it. Warren felt that leaving it until it was light enough to be photographed might cause riots against the Jews living in Whitechapel whom the bigoted English residents already believed were responsible for the murders. Warren did not even compromise by willing to erase or cover up the word "Juwes" only (Barbee 2006)."
All of the aforementioned evidence is sketchy at best. There seems to be very little consensus concerning what the evidence tells us about the killer; although the most concrete aspect of the evidence seems to be the package with the half eaten kidney. It seems that this package and letter had to have come from the killer or someone that was close to the killer. In any case there is still not a consensus or just who this individual was. The next section of this discussion will focus on the various suspects that have been named in association with these murders.
IV. Who was "Jack the Ripper": The Suspects
The ideas behind who "Jack the Ripper" could have been have abounded for many years. A book entitled Public Reactions to Jack the Ripper shares some insight into what local citizens were feeling at the time that the crimes were committed (Ryder 2006). The book contains letters to many of the editors of newspapers that existed at the time of the murders. In many cases the public suggested to police who the killer might be (Ryder 2006). The public also suggested that the police were not handling the investigation properly and as such there was a delay in finding the killer (Ryder 2006). In addition, some of the letters contained in the book confront some of the social conditions that existed in that section of London during the time that these women were killed (Ryder 2006).
In any case, there are a plethora of theories concerning the true identity of Jack the Ripper. As early as 1894 there were speculations concerning the true identity of the killer. According to Sir Melville Macnaghten who was the Chief Constable there were three suspects (Barbee 2006). The first of which was M.J. Druitt who was a barrister and a teacher (Barbee 2006). Druitt killed himself in 1888 shortly after the last murder that was attributed to Jack the Ripper (Barbee 2006). However there were very few law officials that believed that Druitt was the killer (Barbee 2006).
Macnaghten' also named two other suspects. The second suspect was Aaron Kosminiski (Barbee 2006). This suspect was revealed in the early 1980's when a researcher found the memoirs of Robert Anderson, which had been in the possession of Donald Swanson (Barbee 2006). The author explains that both Anderson and Swanson were officers in the case and in his memoirs which appeared in 1910 revealed that the police knew who the killer was (Barbee 2006). Anderson asserted that the ripper was a Polish Jew named Kosminiski and that he was sent to an insane asylum where he died (Barbee 2006). This suspect is somewhat problematic because at the time of the killings Jewish immigrants were reviled (Barbee 2006).
However many have argued that Aaron Kominski was not the killer and that he didn't die right after being placed in the asylum but in 1919(Barbee 2006). There is a belief that Aaron Kominiski was confused with a V. Kominiski who was also a Polish Jew who may have been the killer (Barbee 2006). On the other hand there are disagreements concerning the possibility that he was the killer (Barbee 2006).
However there is some credence given to the possibility that this was indeed the killer. This credence goes back to the theory that the murders were related to Jewish ritual slaughters (Cawthorne, 1994). These rituals are traditionally performed by a shochet, which is a butcher that slaughters animals in accordance with Talmudic law (Cawthorne, 1994). As we discussed earlier there was a message at one of the crime scenes that read 'The juwes are not the men that will be blamed for nothing' this gives some credence that the killer may have been Jewish (Cawthorne, 1994). The author further explains that the Masonic spelling of 'Jews' also gave rise to the theory that the murders had been some Masonic rite. The police commissioner of Sir Charles Warren was himself a high ranking Mason. He had the graffito removed, he said, to prevent inflaming anti-Jewish feelings in the area. Sir Charles Warren resigned after the murder of Mary Kelly, admitting his utter failure to solve the case (Cawthorne, 1994)."
The third suspect that Macnaghten named was, Michael Ostrog (Barbee 2006). This individual was investigated but the evidence nor the investigation implicate him in committing the crimes (Barbee 2006).
There were also other theories concerning who Jack the Ripper could have been (Barbee 2006). In fact Frederick Abberline who was a retired detective believed that a man, who poisoned some of his wives named Severin Klosowski, was Jack the Ripper (Barbee 2006). However, no other law officer believed that Klosowski committed the crime (Barbee 2006).
The final serious suspect came to light in 1993 and his name is Dr. Francis Tumblety (Barbee 2006).
This individual was actually an American doctor who was believed to be insane. This individual actually fled London and came back to America (Barbee 2006). The author explains that he was indeed a suspect because after he returned to America, detectives from Scotland Yard came to America to investigate Tumblety (Barbee 2006).
Indeed there are many theories concerning who "Jack the Ripper" may have been. In fact there were at least 176 suspects during the time that the murder occurred. One significant suspect was a Russian Doctor named Alexander Pedachenko (Cawthorne, 1994). It is said that Pedachenko worked under a pseudonym in an East London clinic that cared for some of the women that were killed (Cawthorne, 1994). According to the author a letter naming him…