The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"


The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"

"Jack the Ripper", a name that will perpetually resonate throughout the British Isles, from the white cliffs of Dover to the icy shores of northern Scotland. There isn't one person, young or old, who hasn't heard of him, yet his identity forever remains a mystery. This MyTake will encourage those from outside Britain to immerse themselves in what we call, "the Reign of Terror".

"The Canonical Five"

"It is unclear just how many women the Ripper killed. It is generally accepted that he killed five, though some have written that he murdered only four while others say seven or more. The public, press, and even many junior police officers believed that the Ripper was responsible for nine slayings. The five that are generally accepted as the work of the Ripper are:"

Source (

1) Mary Ann Nichols (31st of August 1888)

The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"

Mary Ann Nichols, familiarly known as "Polly", was found on the 31st of August 1888 by a cart-puller and a nearby passer-by at the foot of a gate in Buck's Row. The two men decided to leave her and alert the authorities. Minutes later her corpse was found by PC John Neil who raised the alarm. Her throat had been cut left AND right. The coroner report suggested the assailant might have been left-handed.

2) Annie Chapman (8th of September 1888)

The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"

4:45 AM: "Mr. John Richardson enters the backyard of 29 Hanbury St. on his way to work, and sits down on the steps to remove a piece of leather which was protruding from his boot. Although it was quite dark at the time, he was sitting no more than a yard away from where the head of Annie Chapman would have been had she already been killed. He later testified to have seen nothing of extraordinary nature."

5:30 AM: "Elizabeth Long sees Chapman with a man, hard against the shutters of 29 Hanbury Street. they are talking. Long hears the man say "Will you?" and Annie replies "Yes." Long is certain of the time as she had heard the clock on the Black Eagle Brewery, Brick Lane, strike the half hour just as she had turned onto the street. The woman (Chapman) had her back towards Spitalfields Market and, thus, her face towards Long. The man had his back towards Long.

A few moments after the Long sighting, Albert Cadosch, a young carpenter living at 27 Hanbury Street walks into his back yard probably to use the outhouse. Passing the five-foot tall wooden fence which separates his yard from that of number 29, he hears voices quite close. The only word he can make out is a woman saying "No!" He then heard something falling against the fence.

Annie's body was discovered a little before 6.00am by John Davis, a carman who lived on the third floor of No.29 with his family. After alerting James Green, James Kent and Henry Holland in Hanbury Street, Davis went to Commercial Street Police Station before returning to No.29."

Chapman received the same kind of knife incisions as Nichols, as well as being asphyxiated, but this time, the contents of her abdomen had been carved out. Her large intestine had been placed around her shoulder, and "whilst from the pelvis, the uterus and its appendages with the upper portion of the vagina and the posterior two-thirds of the bladder, had been entirely removed". These could not be found by the police.

However, the police did get their hands on a leather apron only feet away from the body, but this will be introduced in part II.

The "Double Event" ( - Elizabeth 'Long Liz' Stride and Catherine Eddowes

The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"

Elizabeth Stride

The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"

"There was a clear-cut incision on the neck. It was six inches in length and commenced two and a half inches in a straight line below the angle of the jaw, one-half inch in over an undivided muscle, and then becoming deeper, dividing the sheath. The cut was very clean and deviated a little downwards. The arteries and other vessels contained in the sheath were all cut through.

The cut through the tissues on the right side was more superficial and tailed off to about two inches below the right angle of the jaw. The deep vessels on that side were uninjured. From this is was evident that the hemorrhage was caused through the partial severance of the left carotid artery."

The killer had not been afforded enough time to carry out the attack. Although he did murder her, he must have been disrupted by the Worker's Party meeting which was taking place only feet away in a factory.

At 12:45 am, Israel Schwartz turned onto Berner Street and reached the yard where the murder was committed only to be confronted by a man speaking to a woman. The man tried to pull the woman into the street, but he turned around and threw her down on the footway and the woman screamed three times. On crossing to the opposite side of the street, Schwartz sees a second man, and the first man shouts "Lipski" (a derogatory word for a Jew). A notable experience by Schwartz who may have met the killer.

Catherine Eddowes

The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"

This murder took place in Mitre Square. The square was very dark apart from two gas lamps in two separate corners. Mitre Square is geographically set between the Whitechapel and City of London police sectors. This meant that a policeman of the City of London police sector would walk down a street leading to the square and stop abruptly before heading back. A policeman from the Whitechapel sector, PC Edward Watkins, discovers the savagely slaughtered body of Eddowes at 1:45 am.

The lacerations are far too gruesome to post here, and the description is far too long too (lazy bum), so you may, if you wish, read the full post-mortem @

Mary Jane Kelly (9th of November 1888)

The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"

A scene of absolute carnage awaited the police in a small outhouse in Miller's Court. The body of a young prostitute lays on her bed, and she has been decimated.

Again, you can find the morbid details @

My deduction from this murder is that the killer was handed all the time, space and discretion, for he knew he wouldn't be disturbed.

This was "Jack the Ripper's" final victim before he vanished in the London smog and into folklore.

I leave you here, GaG. I should think part II will be released in a week, or two at most. Hope you enjoyed the read :)!

The Greatest Whodunit in British History. PART I : "The Canonical Five"
Add Opinion
2Girl Opinion
0Guy Opinion

Scroll Down to Read Other Opinions

What Girls & Guys Said

  • RedRobin
    When are you writing the next one?
    • Soon this week. Bit let down by the lack of views/comments. Hope you enjoyed this part.

  • Adigelunar
    Good post