A while back I attended a talk at a local library which was given by an ex scene of crime officer discussing the infamous case of Jack the Ripper. I found it absolutely fascinating so thought I would share some of what was discussed. Of course Jack the Ripper is an unsolved case and so there are differing versions of events and many different opinions. I think that is one of the reasons why I find the case as intriguing as there is not a definitive answer.
Although I won’t be going into depth regarding the details of the case (there are many better informed accounts online and published for anyone who wants further information) I am however, going to touch on some of the discussions which were had.
Firstly a slideshow presented to us moved quickly though the ‘story’ of Jack the Ripper and then prompted a discussion regarding the theory that not all the ‘typically known’ Ripper murders were actually committed by Jack the Ripper. This theory was backed up by discussions of ‘blood spatter analysis’ and pictures of recent crime scenes were then shown and we were encouraged to share our opinions of if we thought it had been a homicide, suicide or death from natural causes. (For anyone who wants further information regarding this there are some fantastic posts here, http://mycrimestudies.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/blood-spatter-analysis/
Some basic but very interesting facts were shared such as the style of Jack the Ripper meant that although the crime scenes and bodies were left in horrendous states very little blood ‘spatter’ would of occurred which of course leads to there not being any blood stained footprints etc. He also discussed how Jack didn’t stab his victims but cut.
Due to the nature of the Ripper murders the discussion then moved onto strangulation and by showing the audience photographs from crime scenes we identified signs of strangulation from clenched fists, widened and red spotted eyes to cases where the tongue protrudes.
What I found intriguing was the strong emphasis that the individual giving this talk held that Jack the Ripper was most definitely in the Sunderland/Gateshead/Birtley area which are relatively close areas to myself and that he was adamant that there was so many more Ripper murders than traditional thought. Mary Anne Kelly is a well-known Ripper murder but this this was discredited by the ex-scene of crime officer due to the injuries being different to the other recorded murders and the hand used to do so was different to the rest of the murders. Another opinion which I hadn’t heard/read much about was that there was more than one individual and in fact Jack the Ripper was a team of people (possibly two people) working together.
The final part of the discussion was much broader and focused predominately on psychopaths. We discussed the ‘warrior gene’ which is a common gene among psychopaths alongside the fact that many tend to be extremely good business men or political leaders. Overall I found this discussion fascinating and was very impressed.