Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ripper's Victims

I must admit that when it comes to Jack the Ripper, I am a bit of a ghoul. I have a fascination with the whole case and the mystery surrounding these brutal crimes.

So I was particularly interested by this article from the Mail Online about the earlier lives of the victims of the Ripper: How Jack the Ripper's five victims turned to prostitution after their marriages failed.

Over the last century they have passed into gruesome folklore, but Victorian census records on Jack the Ripper's victims cast new light on the lives of some of the murdered prostitutes.

An online genealogy website which trawled the 1881 census - taken seven years before their deaths - has pulled together information on the women that 'provides a small window onto the past' and dispels the myth that they had been teenage street walkers.

The five - Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly - were all brutally murdered in 's East End between August 31 and December 20, 1888. Their bodies were left horribly mutilated on the streets of Whitechapel. Their murderer was never caught.

Although prostitutes at the time of their violent murders, three of the five had previously been married, according to records taken on April 3, 1881.

And for those of you like myself, the Casebook Forum may be of interest.

1 comment:

Unknown said...


I've also been fascinated by the case for a long time. I wondered, how do you feel about the notion that studying the crime is inherently misogynistic? By that, I mean some see it as glorifying a lady-killer rather than, as the census reports show, looking at what drove these women to seek employment as prostitutes and what that says about the society. I'm glad to have come across your page. Very interesting!