A member of staff is seen reflected in "The Illustrated Police News" on display during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)


127 years unsolved

Jack the Ripper

"Jack the Ripper" is a pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer or killers in London, England in the late 1800s.

The murders took place in the impoverished Whitechapel district, and most of the victims were prostitutes. The victims' throats were severed and their abdomens slashed and mangled. 

The mutilation of the victims' bodies became more severe with each murder.

At least 5 of the brutal murders were committed by the same person, but there could be as many as 11 victims. Because of the many crimes in London's east end at the time, it is unknown how many of the crimes were actually connected.

Many names have been put forward as the true identity of the killer, and several were arrested. False confessions or reported confessions abound, but the true killer or killers were never identified.

Any surviving forensic evidence is too contaminated to provide results, and the slow meld of fact and fiction are the legacy of the horrific violence so long ago. 

In 2015, a Jack the Ripper Museum opened in east London.

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