He sneaks through the streets at night to kill, never lets anyone see his face, and typically goes for
women of the night. This person has yet to be identified, but has gone by one name throughout time,
and name that strikes fear into the hearts of people in the late 19 th England, the name he goes by is
“Jack the Ripper,” and on November 9 th , 1988 his final victim from the Canonical Five was killed.
In England in the mid-19 th century, there was a massive rush of immigrants to the country, and with the
rise in population, came the rise of problems in everyday life. The area where the murders took place
became overcrowded, work became to find, and things like robbery, violence, and alcohol abuse
became more popular. With that came the rise of prostitution, and the Whitechapel area of England had
an estimated 62 brothels, and over 1,000 women working as prostitutes. Jack the Ripper then turned
the disadvantages of these women, into advantages for him when he started killing.
Before the name Jack the Ripper came to be, the name of the murders was collectively known as the
“Whitechapel Murders.” In total, there was 11 murders that were thought to be committed by the same
person, and five of which became extremely popular in the public eye, and made women scared to walk
alone at night.
The first two killings that took place were not considered to be a part of the canonical five, but the five
following it became his best known “work.” The canonical five killings began when Mary Ann Nichols
body was found on Friday April 31 st , 1988, with numerous cuts and slashes over her body. The next three
bodies, which were of Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, and Catherine Eddowes were found in similar
ways with the cause of death to be some form of slash to the neck, and then with many cuts all over the
body. In all these cases except Stride’s, things were cut out and removed from their bodies in an
inexpert way, but all of the canonical victims were prostitutes, and it was thought that he targeted them
for this specific reason.
His fifth and final canonical victim was that of Mary Jane Kelly, which took place this very day, November
9 th , 129 years ago to this very day. This killing was considered to be the most brutal killing of the
canonical five, and there was no record as to whether or not she was a prostitute because there was no
documentation that proved what she said, but there was nothing to disprove it.
Mary was found around 10:45 in the morning by the landlord’s ex-soldier assistant, who upon arrival
looked into her apartment, and saw her mutilated body lying on the bed. Her body suffered many
slashes, and some of her amenities were taken off of her body, and placed around her body, as well as
most of her facial figures partially removed. It is thought to have taken approximately 2 hours to
perform the mutilations on Ms. Kelly’s body. Although her body had gone through horrors at the hands
of her killer, her cause of death was determined to be that of a slash to the throat, which killed her 12
hours before she was found, and before the disfigurement began.
Due to the murder taking place in an apartment compared to the streets like the other murders, it is
said that she is so heavily disfigured because the killer had more time, which makes this the worse out of
all the seven killings, five of which were the canonical killings. After the death of Mary Jane Kelly, no
murders of the same similarity occurred for six months, which was thought to be due to the killer’s
imprisonment, death, or emigration to another country, and she is known to be his final victim. Even
though there were seven known victims that belonged to Jack the Ripper, there was four more murders
that were similar and thought to be committed by him, but nothing could be proved.
The identity of Jack the Ripper is still unknown to this day, even though there have been many thoughts
as to who this serial killer may be, but the identity of his final victim is known. Her name was Mary Jane
Kelly, and on November 9 th , 1988, 129 years ago to this very day she was killed by the notorious killer. So
today, we look not to praise him, but to bring remembrance to not only to the victim that ended it all,
but to all eleven women to have lost their life at the hands of this merciless killer.