Jack the Ripper and Me

Y’all know that I have good Mondays and bad, but August 31st is, historically, a rough day for Mary’s.

On this date in 1888, the body of Mary Ann Nichols was discovered in London, kicking off a late-summer crime wave for the history books. Mary was the first victim of the mysterious serial killer who came to be known as Jack the Ripper.

The legend of Jack the Ripper has fascinated casual crime enthusiasts, horror fans, and forensic scientists for nearly 150 years. For several hot months, the Whitechapel neighborhood of London was gripped by the fear of this mysterious monster.

Meanwhile, someone claiming responsibility for the attacks sent letters to the police, calling themselves “Jack the Ripper.” As anyone who’s watched an episode of Hannibal can tell you, serial killers have all sorts of icky and specific ways of dealing with their victims.

It’s a little much to handle before coffee, so I’ll leave the details to your own personal Googling, but I’ll tell you this – the name of Ripper’s first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, is just a bit too close to my name, Mary Nicholas, for my comfort. Yeesh!

I wish I had a good ending for you, like maybe they caught Jack the Ripper red-handed and he spent his days locked up safely in a cell, but I just don’t. The police never caught him, despite suspicions of the killer’s identity ranging from local doctors, to members of the British Royal Family, to fellow ladies in Mary Ann’s profession (let’s just say: logistics of another sort). Through the years, professed ‘Ripperologists’ have each backed various possible culprits, leading to countless non-fiction accounts, fictionalized stories, and even films.

Most recently, self-proclaimed ‘armchair detective’ Russell Edwards published a book called Naming Jack the Ripper, claiming he’d found a silk shawl that definitively proved the Ripper’s identity. While the announcement rocked the internet, secondary testing by outside sources quickly proved what many lifelong Ripperologists had expected – Edwards’ claim was incorrect.

I don’t know that I’d consider myself a Ripperologist, but I did find some pretty terrifying evidence that’s been right out in the open the whole time. Take a look and tell me what you think:

Jack the Ripper and Pooh

Keep yourself in one piece today!

Happy Monday,