The case of Aaron Kosminski: was he Jack the Ripper?
S. K. Lekh, A. Langa, P. Begg and B. K. Puri
Psychiatric Bulletin (1992), 16:786-788
The Whitechapel murders of 1888attributed to Jack the Ripper were, like many of the crimes of multiplevictim killers, well-publicised, bizarre and dramatic (Lunde & Sigal, 1990). Although in the public mind at the time the murders of at least seven women in and around the Whitechapel district of London’s East End were believed to have been carried out by Jack the Ripper. However, according to police and forensic evidence his victims, all prostitutes, numbered only five, beginning with Mary Ann Nichols, found murdered on 31 August 1888, and ending with Mary Jane Kelly, whose mutilated body was discovered on 9 November 1888. Apart from one case in which there is evidence the killer was disturbed while attacking his victim, the murders were characterised by extensive mutilations, with the uterus being particularly singled out. For example, in an interview given by her landlord (The Times, 1888), the following description was given of the scene that confronted the police when they broke into the room where lay the body of the Ripper’s last victim: “She had been completely disembowelled, and her entrails had been taken out and placed on the table… The woman’s nose had been cut off, and her face gashed and mutilated so that it was quite beyond recognition. Both her breasts, too, had been cut clean away and placed by the side of her liver and other entrails on the table”.