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Was Jack the Ripper a woman?

 
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User ID: 94953
United States
05/18/2006 10:13 AM
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Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
[link to news.independent.co.uk]

Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
By Kathy Marks in Sydney
Published: 18 May 2006
The notorious serial killer who stalked London's East End, butchering prostitutes and terrorising the population, may not have been Jack the Ripper - but Jill.

An Australian scientist has used swabs from letters supposedly sent to police by the Ripper to build a partial DNA profile of the killer. The results suggest that the person who murdered and mutilated at least five women from 1888 onwards may have been a woman.

Ian Findlay, a professor of molecular and forensic diagnostics, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he had developed a profiling technique that could extract DNA from a single cell or strand of hair up to 160 years old. Conventional DNA sampling methods require at least 200 cells.

Dr Findlay, who is based in Brisbane, travelled to London, where the evidence from the still-unsolved murders is stored at the National Archive. The material, which was kept by Scotland Yard until 1961, includes letters sent to police at the time, some of them signed "Jack the Ripper". Most are believed to be fakes, but a handful are thought to have been written by the killer.

Dr Findlay took swabs from the back of stamps and from the gum used to seal envelopes, and possible bloodstains. He took his haul back to Brisbane, where - concentrating on swabs from the so-called "Openshaw letter", the one believed most likely to be genuine - he extracted the DNA and then amplified the information to create a profile. The resultswere "inconclusive" and not forensically reliable, but he did construct a partial profile and based on this analysis, he said, "it's possible the Ripper could be female".

The victims were all prostitutes, murdered and mutilated in the foggy alleyways of Whitechapel. By the surgical nature of the wounds, the killer was assumed to have some surgical knowledge.

The chief suspects, who included a barrister, a Polish boot-maker and a Russian confidence trickster, were all men. But Frederick Abberline, the detective who led the investigation, thought it possible the killer was a woman. This was because the fifth victim, Mary Kelly, was "seen" by witnesses hours after she was killed. Abberline thought this was the murderer running away, in Kelly's clothes.

The only female suspect was Mary Pearcey, who was convicted of murdering her lover's wife, Phoebe Hogg, in 1890 and hanged. She apparently employed a similar modus operandi to the Ripper.

The notorious serial killer who stalked London's East End, butchering prostitutes and terrorising the population, may not have been Jack the Ripper - but Jill.

An Australian scientist has used swabs from letters supposedly sent to police by the Ripper to build a partial DNA profile of the killer. The results suggest that the person who murdered and mutilated at least five women from 1888 onwards may have been a woman.

Ian Findlay, a professor of molecular and forensic diagnostics, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he had developed a profiling technique that could extract DNA from a single cell or strand of hair up to 160 years old. Conventional DNA sampling methods require at least 200 cells.

Dr Findlay, who is based in Brisbane, travelled to London, where the evidence from the still-unsolved murders is stored at the National Archive. The material, which was kept by Scotland Yard until 1961, includes letters sent to police at the time, some of them signed "Jack the Ripper". Most are believed to be fakes, but a handful are thought to have been written by the killer.

Dr Findlay took swabs from the back of stamps and from the gum used to seal envelopes, and possible bloodstains. He took his haul back to Brisbane, where - concentrating on swabs from the so-called "Openshaw letter", the one believed most likely to be genuine - he extracted the DNA and then amplified the information to create a profile. The resultswere "inconclusive" and not forensically reliable, but he did construct a partial profile and based on this analysis, he said, "it's possible the Ripper could be female".
The victims were all prostitutes, murdered and mutilated in the foggy alleyways of Whitechapel. By the surgical nature of the wounds, the killer was assumed to have some surgical knowledge.

The chief suspects, who included a barrister, a Polish boot-maker and a Russian confidence trickster, were all men. But Frederick Abberline, the detective who led the investigation, thought it possible the killer was a woman. This was because the fifth victim, Mary Kelly, was "seen" by witnesses hours after she was killed. Abberline thought this was the murderer running away, in Kelly's clothes.

The only female suspect was Mary Pearcey, who was convicted of murdering her lover's wife, Phoebe Hogg, in 1890 and hanged. She apparently employed a similar modus operandi to the Ripper.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on
stgeorge
User ID: 93427
Canada
05/18/2006 10:19 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
he worked in the royal kitchen and the abbatoir,slaughtering the animals.That is why he knew where the organs were.
He was a bit mad,But "It was a Royal command".
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 59724
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05/18/2006 10:20 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
I think that movie From Hell with Johnny Depp a few years back probably came as close to what really happened as we will ever get.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 2421
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05/18/2006 10:20 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
How interesting...

Would take quite a mind to pull that one off. A woman, who everyone thought was a man.

scream
Mr Spock
User ID: 79541
Australia
05/18/2006 10:27 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
Surgery back then was a very fast manoeuvre and a bit of a show. The days of screams and saw n bones men. The early surgeon before either was discovered. Took 28 seconds to take a leg and Saw it off and sew the stump up. Usually the victim passed out.

flower
spock
stgeorge
User ID: 93427
Canada
05/18/2006 10:48 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
Now you can have your "kidney pie"...
stgeorge
User ID: 93427
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05/18/2006 10:49 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
His writing was not very accomplished it was noticed.He was one of the lower class.
Sinanju nli
User ID: 94104
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05/18/2006 10:53 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
He was a royal.

He was 'retired' by a master of Sinanju. H'si T'sing I believe.
gsbltd
User ID: 93693
United States
05/18/2006 11:15 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
It's pretty pointless [but still entertaining] to speculate on the identity of the Ripper: this case will NEVER be solved due to obfuscation and shoddy record-keeping by Scotland Yard at the time and of coutrse, the passage of time.

I've researched this case extensively for over twenty years and have heard the most outrageous suspects presented; my current favorite involves a deranged minister from Edinburg who lived in Whitechapel, comitted the murders, then migrated to NYC where another string of unsolved [and similar] cases soon happened. Eventually he landed in San Francisco where [YEP!]another ripper-like murder happened after he took a job in a church in the Mission district church.
This suspect supposedly died [he just vanished, again!] after the turn of the century in America's midwest.

The Ripper case holds an incredible lock on the imaginations of millions of people... I've always found it equally interesting to ask the question, 'WHY?'

Anybody care to share the reason behind their interest?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 94971
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05/18/2006 11:44 AM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
A woman named Jack??
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 94984
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05/18/2006 12:26 PM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
No. Otherwise, she'd have been known as Jill the Ripper.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 80721
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05/18/2006 12:28 PM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
Jack the Ripper was masonic royalty.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 2421
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05/18/2006 12:30 PM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
The point was that she could have pulled it off as "Jack" when she was really "Jill".

Brilliant, really.
gsbltd
User ID: 93693
United States
05/18/2006 01:03 PM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
Anyone remember the theory the "Sherlock Holmes" character suggested as how the Ripper fled the crime scenes? Why, elementary: through the vast underground tunnel system that criss-crosses London!

BTW: There's a fun movie wherein Holmes chases down the Ripper called
MURDER BY DECREE. The cast includes Christopher Plummer [Holmes], James Mason [a delightful Watson!], Donald Sutherland, David Hemmings, John Guilgud and some very impressive atmospherics! It's also low-priced on DVD.
Healthy1
User ID: 21695
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05/18/2006 06:45 PM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
I thought Patricia Cornwell solved this case in her book!
Anonymer Held
User ID: 95104
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05/18/2006 07:25 PM
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Re: Was Jack the Ripper a woman?
Doubtful. Don't believe this entire story. Why? Because I saw a special on about Patricia Cornwell's search for the Ripper. In the story, she had her own forensic team trying to get DNA samples from those same letters. They said they were unable to collect any. Plus even if there were samples before they got their idiotic fingers on the letters, the DNA is probably completely contaminated.

Patricia Cornwell came up with a self-serving explanation that I won't go into. But why was it self-serving? Because she said that Jack was this painter and just coincidentally, she had bought tons of his work. Would have to imagine if anyone bought what she was selling and thought this guy really was JtR, then the prices for his artwork would have skyrocketed.


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