THE FOLLOWING HAS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS!!!!!
In the year 1888, a series of shocking murders occurred in a section of London called Whitechapel. Taverns, brothels, and dance halls were common there, and the majority of the local residents seemed resigned to the turn their neighborhood had taken, since most frequented them.
It was also quite common for gentlemen and ladies from the higher classes to seek out the thrills that could be found on the streets and taverns of Whitechapel. Although no one is sure who he was, or whether he was a local or an outsider, there was someone else seeking his thrills on these streets.
Like every serial killer, Jack the Ripper ultimately struck a balance between his compulsion to kill, and how much risk he was willing to take. In his case, his compulsion drove him to take risks that could have easily led to his capture; except for his last murder, all of his crimes were committed outdoors, in a neighborhood known for it's night life. Additionally, the police were regularly patrolling there. This means, at the very least, he had to learn how to murder his victims as quickly as possible, and Jack the Ripper, if nothing else, was a quick learner.
His first murder was a sloppy affair, and the wound patterns suggested that he attacked from the front, and, in all likelihood, he ended up covered in his victim's blood. He solved this problem on his very next kill. It was a common practice of the street prostitutes of that time to allow their customers to enjoy them from behind, and Jack took advantage of that by reaching around and cutting their throats, thereby avoiding the splatter. There was still another major problem he had to solve, however. His need to mutilate with each murder was growing, and so the time he needed to spend to achieve his thrill was also growing, which increased his chances of being caught. He solved this problem with his last victim, by taking her back to the privacy of her own room. Now, with all of the time he could hope for, he proceeded to brutally mutilate nearly every part of her body. With this horrific orgy of blood, most Ripper "experts" believe that he never killed again.
I feel it is important, at this point, to state the obvious. Although Jack the Ripper committed these crimes long before any of us were ever born, at one time he was an actual living, breathing person. He wasn't someone that was mysterious, or enigmatic, or even really very interesting. He was just another self centered, manipulative, violent man who hated women. And despite his inflated opinion of himself, he was nothing more than a butcher that got away with it.
It's also important that people realize that his victims were more than just gory, black and white photographs in a book about Jack the Ripper. They were more than just names on a victim list. They were struggling with their lives, and had very limited prospects. They were at the very bottom, and every day was another numbing search for any small amount of money that might buy them a bed for the night, a little food, and a bottle to drink from. Jack chose them because they were desperate and, therefore, easy targets; easy to approach, easy to manipulate, and easy to kill. After he committed these horrific crimes, he gloated about them to the police in graphic, taunting letters, as if it were all a game, and he was the smartest one playing. In truth, he was never caught because he was a serial killer before the concept of a serial killer even existed. Looking back, it's easy to see that he wasn't anything special at all. He fit into the typical pattern that, unfortunately, has been repeated over and over again. He just happened to be the first that made the headlines. I have no doubt that this kind of violence had happened many times before Jack the Ripper as well.
Happy Halloween! Please try to be nicer to each other.