One of the most common mysteries within the Victorian world happened in 1899 with Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper has fascinated people since the first mention of the name in the papers. What resonates with me about the whole crime spree is the fact that the perpetrator is still unknown. The suspects range from an artist, Sickert, to the royal physician Sir John Williams. Even today we can only put our biased thoughts to the man, or perhaps a woman?
I know what you're thinking, why would I think of a woman as being the suspect? Why not? I'm not the only one who thought of this as well. A recent book just published earlier this year, Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman by John Morris follows my thoughts. It all comes down to the last victim, Mary Kelly. A witness claimed she saw Mary several hours after she was killed and even had a conversation with her. The lead detective came to the conclusion it was the female killer escaping in Mary's clothing.
This interesting tidbit boggles the mind and brings a whole new thought process to the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was. Was she an abortionist or a midwife who would have known the female body and been able to perform such surgeries? Or was it really the woman they hung in 1890 for a crime so very similar? Or perhaps it was a man's jealous wife after some revenge? Was it really Lizzie Williams because she couldn't have children? We may never know one hundred percent who the real person behind the famous title was. One thing I know for sure is that there is a challenge to figuring it out. And fun creating stories to tell our theories.
In fact writing this post inspired me to create just such a novel. Who do you think Jack the Ripper really was? What about this mystery inspires and challenges you?