JACK THE RIPPER TIMELINE

  • 3rd of April 1888. A local gang attack Emma Smith, a local prostitute, on the junction of Osborn Street and Brick Lane. Although she definitely was not a victim of Jack the Ripper she is the first name on the Whitechapel Murders file that later included the murders by Jack the Ripper.
  • 4th April 1888 Emma Smith dies from the injuries she sustained in the attack. Read more about Emma Smith.
  • 7th June 1888. Detective Sergeant William Thicke testifies in court against local burglar George Neighbour. Later that year Thicke will play a major role in the hunt for Jack the Ripper. However, his testimony on this occasion is of interest because it illustrates the harsh realities of policing the district where the murders took place. Read more
  • 7 August 1888 another prostitute Martha Turner is found stabbed to death on a landing of George Yard Buildings.
  • 31 August 1888 the body of Mary Anne Nichols, who is commonly held to be Jack the Ripper's first victim, is found at 3.40am in Buck's Row Whitechapel
  • 1st-4th September. The police begin questioning the neighbourhood's prostitutes. They learn bout a character who the prostitutes have nicknamed Leather Apron who has been extorting money from them for the past 12 months.
  • 5th September. The Star newspaper publishes a write-up on Leather Apron, which causes the first murmurs of anti-Semitism in the district.
  • 8 September 1888. The second Jack the Ripper victim, Annie Chapman, was found in the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street.
  • 10 September 1888. Mr George Lusk, together with several other local business men, founds the Mile End Vigilance Committee, hoping to assist the police with their endeavours to catch the murderer.
  • 10 September 1888. John Pizer, whom Sergeant Thick maintains is recognized as "Leather Apron," is arrested. He can provide alibis for the two recent murders and is released.
  • 27 September 1888. A missive addressed to ‘Dear Boss” arrives at the Central News Agency. It is signed JACK THE RIPPER, a name which will turn the unknown miscreant into a world famous legend.
  • 30 September 1888. The killer commits two murders in under 1 hour. At 1am the body of Elizabeth Stride’s is found in Berner Street, off Commercial Road; then at 1:45am the body of Catherine Eddowes is discovered in Mitre Square in the City of London. This means that another Police force, the City Police, now join into the search for Jack the Ripper.
  • 1st October 1888. The police make the Jack the Ripper letter public.
  • 6th October 1888. The Central News Agency receive another letter that is signed Jack the Ripper. The police ask them not make this missive public.
  • 16 October 1888 . Mr George Lusk receives a letter that is addressed "FROM HELL." It contains half a kidney. There is press speculation that it belonged to Catherine Eddowes.
  • 9th November 1888. 25 year Old Mary Kelly is found dead in Dorset Street Spitalfields. She is believed by many to have been Jack the Ripper's last victim.
  • 20th December 1888. 29 year old Rose Mylett (also known as Catherine Millett and Lizzie Davis), 29, was found strangled in Clarke's Yard, off Poplar High Street. Despite the fact that several doctors who examined her body gave it as their opinion that she had been strangled, Robert Anderson was convinced that she had accidentally hanged herself on the collar of her dress whilst drunk. Dr Thomas Bond was, therefore, asked to examine her body and he agreed with Anderson. However, the jury at her subsequent inquest disagreed and returned a verdict of "wilful murder against some person or persons unknown". Her death was, therefore, added to the Whitechapel Murders file
  • 17th 1889. The body of Alice McKenzie is found in Castle Alley, off Whitechapel High Street. Despite the fact that her injuries were less savage than those inflicted on previous victims, several detectives believed her to have been a victim of Jack the Ripper.
  • 10th September 1888. The mutilated torso of an unknown woman was found beneath a railway arch in Pinchin Street. Although the press at the time noted that the torso bore similar mutilations to those inflicted on his victims by Jack the Ripper, the consensus amongst experts is that this was probably not a ripper killing.
  • 13th February 1891. The body of Frances Coles is found beneath a railway arch in Swallow Gardens. St the time there was much speculation that her killing spelt a return for the ripper. A sailor named James Thomas Sadler was arrested, charged and later acquitted of her murder. Today she is not believed to have been a Jack the Ripper victim.