The Victims of Jack the Ripper Essay

The Victims of Jack the RipperJack the Ripper is remembered as one of history’s most famous serial killers. His technique of getting his victims to lay down before he slashed their throats, then disemboweling them in a matter of a minute or two with as little blood flow as possible distinguishes him as one of the most methodical, ruthless killers to ever live. He even performed some of his gruesome murders right in the street and left his victims to be found minutes later by people or policemen passing by. This demonstrates what extremes he would actually go to fulfill his desire for killing. Through my report I will create a brief profile of Jack’s victims as well as explore the methodical and horrendous ways they were murdered.

Mary Anne “Polly” Nichols Mary Anne Nichols was found dead on Aug. 31, 1888 between 3:30 and 4:00 A.M. by a porter on his way to work. At first, it appeared to the porter that the woman was just laying down in the street unconscious. Police officer John Neil was summoned to the scene minutes after the body was found. The light from his lamp revealed that the woman was in fact dead with a slashed throat. Dr. Rees Ralph Llewellyn was performing a surgery when he was called to make an official examination of the body. After the examination was complete he pronounced the woman dead by means of a slashed throat. He also took special note that the body was still warm, indicating that the victim had been dead perhaps only minutes before being discovered.

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The body was removed to the mortuary shed at the Old Montague Street Workhouse Infirmary to be autopsied. Only then was the unusually large puddle of blood that had collected beneath the body seen. Once at the mortuary, Dr. Llewellyn performed a full autopsy, which revealed more about the manner of the murder that was not acknowledged during the street examination. Not only was her throat slashed, but also her abdominal area and sexual organs had been brutally sliced and mutilated, which explained the large puddle of blood beneath the body. Furthermore, there were many bruises on the sides of her face, which indicated that she had been knocked unconscious before being mutilated. The murder was believed to have been committed with a stout-handled blade of six to eight inches long (Geary, p.7).

Mary Anne Nichols was the first victim of Jack the Ripper who was deliberately …

… handful of prostitutes. Another theory was that maybe he was taking revenge for a family member who was in a similar situation, or that he came from the same situation as some of the children of the prostitutes and was also left by his mother who ended up as a prostitute. Or maybe he just felt that he was merely cleansing society and doing it a favor by killing off a handful of people who he felt were scum who corrupted society. The ideal profile of Jack the Ripper was a single man, probably a doctor, who had bad experiences with prostitutes in the past, and had lived in London long enough to become familiar with its streets and alleys. He was obviously very daring and nerveless to commit such crimes in the streets, because he could have been caught at any time by anyone who happened to be passing by.


Beg, Paul, Martin Fido and Keith Skinner. The Jack the Ripper A-Z. London: Headline Book Publishing, 1991.

Geary, Rick. Jack the Ripper A Journal of the White Chapel Murders. New York: Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing, Inc., 1995.

Sugden, Philip. The Complete History of Jack the Ripper. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.


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