argument top image

Who was Jack the Ripper?
Back to question

The first Whitechapel murders involved multiple killers

Before the five canonical victims of Jack the Ripper were killed, the case began with two similar murders in Whitechapel. Both these murders were committed by multiple killers.
< (2 of 2)

The Argument

Violence against women in London's East End was widespread in 1888, not an anomalous event requiring a mysterious serial killer to explain it. Police and the contemporaneous media linked the 1888 murders of Emma Smith and Martha Tabram to the killings that would later become known as the canonical murders of Jack the Ripper. Smith survived the attack on her for several days afterwards and was able to testify that she had been assaulted by multiple men, and Tabram had been attacked with two different weapons, suggesting two killers. Without the media hysteria precipitated by the murders of Smith and Tabram, it is unlikely the dissimilar cases now known as the Ripper murders would have been firmly linked. The assumption that Jack the Ripper was a single serial killer makes little sense once the context of the time and place of the Ripper case is considered.

Counter arguments


Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 1 Sep 2020 at 14:12 UTC

Explore related arguments