Whitechapel murders

The Whitechapel murders were committed in or near the largely impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London between 3 April 1888 and 13 February 1891. At various points some or all of these eleven unsolved murders of women have been ascribed to the notorious unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

The "Nemesis of Neglect", an image of social destitution manifested as Jack the Ripper, stalks Whitechapel in a Punch cartoon of 1888 by John Tenniel

Most, if not all, of the victims—Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, Mary Jane Kelly, Rose Mylett, Alice McKenzie, Frances Coles, and an unidentified woman—were prostitutes. Smith was sexually assaulted and robbed by a gang. Tabram was stabbed 39 times. Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes, Kelly, McKenzie and Coles had their throats cut. Eddowes and Stride were murdered on the same night, within approximately an hour and less than a mile apart; their murders are known as the "double event", after a phrase in a postcard sent to the press by an individual claiming to be the Ripper. The bodies of Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly had abdominal mutilations. Mylett was strangled. The body of the unidentified woman was dismembered, but the exact cause of her death is unclear.

The Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, and private organisations such as the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee were actively involved in the search for the perpetrator or perpetrators. Despite extensive enquiries and several arrests, the culprit or culprits evaded capture, and the murders were never solved. The Whitechapel murders drew attention to the poor living conditions in the East End slums, which were subsequently improved. The enduring mystery of who committed the crimes has captured public imagination to the present day.