Jack the Ripper Kills twice in one Day
To this day the horrific murders perpetrated by the killer who became known as Jack the Ripper fuel a section of the publishing industry; likewise at the time of the killings the popular press had a field-day with the gruesome events. As the police investigations failed to find the murderer, and killings of his chosen prey, poor prostitutes, were not uncommon, it is not known precisely how many fell victims to his knife. Indeed various theories place him later outside his original Whitechapel and City haunts, and even beyond, to France and the USA. But we can be reasonably sure of five deaths which occurred in 1888: two of them happening on one bloody day.
The Ripper – a name bestowed on the murderer early on by the press for his evisceration of most of the victims – struck first on August 31 1888 ; and again on September 8. His trademark was two cuts to the throat. On September 30 what became known as The Double Event occurred – two Ripper murders in one day.
The body of Elizabeth Stride was discovered at 1 a.m. in a yard off Berner Street in Whitechapel. While her throat bore the marks of a Ripper slaying (albeit the second cut was shallower than in the other crimes), her body had not been mutilated, leading to theories that something had interrupted the murderer in his grisly ritual. That another killing should happen so soon afterwards lends credence to this idea – he had not sated his blood-lust: Catherine Eddowes was found in Mitre Square in the City less than an hour after Stride’s. Eddowes’ left kidney and part of her uterus had been taken from her abdomen left gaping by a savage knife-slash.
Various hoaxers had plagued the police investigation after the first two killings; a letter received on September 27 had seemed like another such until the boast in it about cutting off a victim’s ears chimed with Eddowes having one of her ears partially cut through, a new departure for the killer. That letter was signed Jack the Ripper, completing the pseudonym that still chills to this day.
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