JACK THE RIPPER, the Victorian serial killer is the most famous infamous murderer of all time. Between August 31st and November 9th, 1888, he killed and mutilated five prostitutes (perhaps more) in London's East End then mysteriously retired from his gruesome occupation. The names of Ripper suspects could fill a telephone book, but despite the mountains of speculative literature that have been written about the Whitechapel Murderer in the century since the hideous crimes were committed, Jack's identity is still a mystery.
What may be the only clues that will provide a breakthrough are the gloating letters the Ripper sent to Scotland Yard during his reign of terror. Many of the letters were probably penned by cranks, but two letters that were posted to the London Central News Agency from Liverpool were apparently genuine. They were both signed 'Jack the Ripper', and their envelopes bore Liverpool postmarks. The first letter warned, 'I shall clip the lady's ears off.'
The next victim of Jack the Ripper,s Catherine Eddowes did indeed have her ears slashed. The second letter from Liverpool warned of a 'double event'. This grisly prediction was also fulfilled when the Ripper killed two prostitutes on the same night. A postscript on the second letter mocked the police for failing to heed the warnings: 'What fools the police are. I even give them the name of the street where I am living.' The street the P.S. referred to was scrawled at the top of the first letter Prince William Street, Liverpool.
The two Liverpool letters from the Ripper suggest the killer had connections with the port. When those connections are uncovered, we may be nearer to finally unmasking the man (or woman) behind the Whitechapel atrocities.
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