The Victims of Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper is remembered as one of history’s most famous, daring, and

heinous 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 to fulfill his desire for killing.

Through my report I will attempt to create a brief profile of his victims as well as explore

the methodical and horrendous ways they were murdered.

1.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 a first glance, it appeared to the porter that the

woman was just laying down in the street merely 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.

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 her abdominal area

and sexual organs had been brutally sliced and mutilated, which explained the large

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

mutilated. She was known as “Polly” by her friends, and was a drunken street prostitute

in her early forties. She married at the age of nineteen to a printer named William

They had five children together. The two eventually separated shortly after Mary Anne

developed a drinking problem. William took custody of all of their children, except for

oldest, Edward, and paid Mary a weekly allowance of $5.25 until he learned of her

lifestyle as a street prostitute. Mary Anne was last seen by a friend named Ellen Holland

2:30 a.m. on the corner of Osborn Street and Whitechapel High Street. It was noted that

she was drunk and staggering at the time. After a weekend of investigation, the

Metropolitan Police Force was unable to come up with much useful

information regarding the murder of Mary Anne Nichols.

2. Annie Chapman
On Sept. 8, 1888, a little before 6:00A.M., Annie Chapman was found laying dead

at the foot of steps at the back of a lodging house by a lodger named John Davis. The

sight of the dead body sent Davis screaming down his street, alarming the whole

neighborhood. Inspector Joseph Luniss Chandler of the Commercial Street station

with his men to seal off the scene and the building from the large crowd that had already

gathered before their arrival. Dr. Wynne Baxter-Phillips was summoned to the scene to

examine the body. His brief examination revealed that the woman’s throat was cut with

two deep slashes, so deep, in fact that the woman was almost beheaded. A scarf had been

tied around her neck as if to hide the slashed throat. Her skirt was lifted just above her

knees and her legs were bent up and cut.

After her skirt was lifted