Travel Trivia – Jack the Ripper

(WARNING:  Graphic photos included)

Portrait of a Killer

Prior to reading Patricia Cornwell’s  Portrait of a Killer, my only theory about Jack the Ripper was that he really disliked women. There is a popular theory that he had medical knowledge due to the “unusual” manner in which the victim’s bodies were mutilated, so that seemed a reasonable concept as well. The thought that he could possibly be a doctor made the murders that much more macabre; i.e. “do no harm.”

Portrait of a Killer is the only Cornwell book I’ve read, which is surprising, because I very much enjoyed it and made a mental note to read more! I found it to be very thorough regarding the research she did for the book. But, despite all those facts and figures, her writing style keeps the reader interested and engaged. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys true crime, forensic science, or Jack the Ripper enthusiasts (for lack of a better word.)

Jack the Ripper

Cornwell’s theory that the killer was Walter Sickert, a British painter, is backed up with a lot of scientific proof presented in her book. He attacked prostitutes in London’s East End, an impoverished area of the city. Whoever he was, I believe he felt a superiority over his victims and an intense hatred for women.

The very graphic photos below depict the inhuman brutality of this killer. He didn’t just murder his victims; he eviscerated them. While they’re pretty horrifying to look at, it gives you an idea of what a sadistic maniac this person was.


(Official police photograph of the corpse of Catherine Eddowes taken in 1888)


(Official police photograph of Mary Kelly’s murder scene in 13 Miller’s Court)

Dark alley

There’s a lot of information on Britain’s most famous unsolved crimes. For a quick and dirty summary check out  Jack the Ripper biography.



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