Skip to comments.Jack The Ripper's Face 'Revealed'
Posted on 11/20/2006 12:09:46 PM PST by blam
Jack the Ripper's face 'revealed'
Experts used modern techniques to create the Ripper's face
An e-fit showing what detectives believe serial killer Jack the Ripper looked like has been revealed. Using new profiling techniques, investigators have created a picture of what they believe the 19th Century murderer would have looked like.
The man, who evaded police in the 1880s, is thought to have killed and mutilated five London prostitutes.
The Scotland Yard team describe him as "frighteningly normal" but someone capable of "extraordinary cruelty".
And investigators have admitted that police at the time were probably searching for the wrong kind of man.
Head of analysis for Scotland Yard's Violent Crime Command Laura Richards, who has studied serial killer Fred West and Soham murderer Ian Huntley, revisited the case using modern police techniques.
She brought together a team of experts, including pathologists, historians and a geographical profiler, to find out if the case could ever be solved.
The result has been the most accurate physical, geographical and psychological portrait of the Ripper ever put together.
It will be revealed in a documentary on Five on Tuesday.
Ms Richards said the 118-year-old evidence shows the Ripper was between the ages of 25 and 35, between 5ft 5ins and 5ft 7ins tall. He was also of stocky build.
Investigators have even been able to pinpoint his address.
Ms Richards said: "For the first time, we are able to understand the kind of person Jack the Ripper was.
"We can name the street where he probably lived; and we can see what he looked like; and we can explain, finally, why this killer eluded justice."
Metropolitan Police Commander John Grieve, who has worked with the team of experts, believes the killer would have been caught if officers at the time had this new information.
"This is further than anyone else has got," he said. "It would have been enough for coppers to get out and start knocking on doors... they would have got him."
Dubbed Britain's first serial killer, the Ripper is believed to have killed at least five prostitutes in Whitechapel, east London, in 1888, but was never caught.
His victims were stabbed, with some of the bodies badly mutilated and even having organs removed. Some believed he had medical training.
The pseudonym Jack the Ripper was coined from a letter sent to a London news agency at the time of the murders, supposedly from the killer himself, but which police later dismissed as a hoax.
Suspects have included Lewis Carroll, Prince Albert Victor and Sir John Williams, obstetrician to the Royal Family.
The identity of the serial killer was never discovered
Using their experience of modern-day crime to examine 13 different witness statements taken at the time of the killings, the team were left with a picture of someone Ms Richards described as "perfectly sane, frighteningly normal, and yet capable of extraordinary cruelty".
Mr Grieve added: "It's a popular misconception that nobody ever saw the murderer, that he just vanished into the fog of London.
"Well that's just not right. There were witnesses at the time who were highly thought of by the police.
"If we were doing this investigation today, we could pool together all these descriptions and the kind of face that the police were clearly looking for.
"You could come up with a composite and you can go beyond just a full face, you can get something that really helps the police to look for suspects."
I read a book by the author Patricia Cornwell; her theory is that Jack the Ripper was the artist Walter Sickert.
Tumblety was arrested in England on November 7, 1888, on charges of "gross indecency" (apparently for engaging in homosexual practices.) Since records show he was not released on bail until November 16th, he likely could not have been involved in the murder of Ripper victim Mary Jane Kelly (on Nov. 9th). Some have speculated, however, that he was released early and was not recorded.
Put a moustache on that guy, and he looks like the composite drawing!
they had only the vaguest description of a man who they thought might have been the Ripper, and they weren't even sure that the person described was the perp.
The most logical suspect was a man named Nathan Kaminsky.
Agreed. The fact that the police pulled their men out of the neighborhood at the same time he was chucked into an asylum is telling.
The prime suspect's name was Aaron Kosminski, not Nathan Kaminsky.
Yep, she's a Brit alright.
Hmmm. Walter Sickert doesn't look much like the artist's concept image.
Ask these professionals how many serial killers have actually been caught by profiling techniques.
Even Ted "The Unabomber" was caught after his brother read his manifesto in the NYT and turned him in.
Every few years, some dumbass claims to know the identify of the "real" killer. Here's a hint, why don't these experts find the real killer so OJ can get back to golf?
To me he looks like the actor Alfred Molina.
Freddy Mercury killed those poor women??
That leaves this woman out
Have any of you read Patricia Cornwell's book on this subject? She names a person she believed was the Ripper and traced other crimes to that person. It was an interesting read.
The nice part about doing such "research" is that you can say anything you want about how he looks and nobody can prove you are wrong. These people sounds like fortune tellers.
bump for later read
He was arab?
"His name was Francis Tumblety. He doesn't look much like Freddy Mercury..."
They may look a bit more similar now...
Can they work on solving the OJ case next?
Two different guys, with Kaminsky (aka David Cohen) emerging as a more viable suspect, IMHO. From Wikipedia:
David Cohen (18651889). A Polish Jew whose incarceration at Colney Hatch asylum roughly coincided with the end of the murders. Described as violently antisocial, the poor East End local has been suggested as a suspect by author and Ripperologist Martin Fido in his book The Crimes, Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper (1987). Fido claims that the name 'David Cohen' was used at the time to refer to immigrant Jews who either could not be positively identified or whose names were too difficult for police to spell, in the same fashion that 'John Doe' is used today. This has been disputed by other authors. Fido speculated that Cohen's true identity was Nathan Kaminsky, a bootmaker living in Whitechapel who had been treated at one time for syphilis and who allegedly vanished at the same time that Cohen was admitted. Fido and others believe that police officials confused the name Kaminsky with Kosminski, resulting in the wrong man coming under suspicion (see Aaron Kosminski above). While at the asylum, Cohen exhibited violent, destructive tendencies that would today likely be linked to schizophrenia, and had to be restrained. He died at the asylum in October of 1889. Former FBI criminal profiler John Douglas, in his book The Cases That Haunt Us (2000), has asserted that behavioral clues gathered from the murders as well as linguistic hints from the "From Hell" letter (the only one he considers authentic) all point to Cohen, "or someone very much like him."
Aaron Kosminski (18651919). A member of London's Jewish population, Aaron Kozminski was born in Klodawa Russia/Poland in 1865. He was transferred to a mental hospital in February 1891. He was named as a suspect in Chief Constable Melville Macnaghten's memoranda, which stated that there were strong reasons for suspecting him, that he "had a great hatred of women, with strong homicidal tendencies", and that he strongly resembled "the man seen by a City PC" near Mitre Square. (This is the only mention of any such sighting, and it has been suggested by some authors that Macnaghten really meant the City Police witness Joseph Lawende, though others suggest alternative explanations.). Written comments by former Assistant Commissioner Sir Robert Anderson and former Chief Inspector Donald Swanson claimed that the Ripper had been identified by the "only person who had a good view of the murderer" (a possible reference to witness Israel Schwartz, although many other possibilities have been suggested). However, they further stated that no prosecution was possible because the witness was not willing to offer testimony against a fellow Jew. In marginalia in his copy of the memoirs, Swanson said that this man was Kosminski, adding that he had been watched at his brother's home in Whitechapel by the City police, that he was taken to the asylum with his hands tied behind his back, and that he died shortly after. These last two details are quite untrue of Kosminski, who lived until 1919. His insanity took the form of auditory hallucinations, a paranoid fear of being fed by other people, and a refusal to wash or bathe. Kozminski also meets many of the criteria in the general profile of serial killers as outlined by John Douglas and Robert Ressler, including compulsive masturbation, unsteady employment, and absence of a biological father (his father died when Aaron was 8 years old). He also lived close to the sites of the murders. He was described as harmless in the asylum, although he had once brandished a chair at asylum attendants. He was previously reputed to have threatened his sister with a knife. These two incidents are the only known indications of violent behavior. The copy of Anderson's The Lighter Side Of My Official Life containing the handwritten notes by Swanson was donated to Scotland Yard's Crime Museum in 2006.
By the way, if you're ever in London, do the Jack the Ripper walking tour that Donald Rumbelow gives.
I took a Ripper walking tour in Whitechapel 1987.
I don't recall the guide's name, though I don't believe it was Rumbelow.
The guide had a brother-in-law whose last name was Constable who was a cop.
We walked around Whitechapel for a couple of hours just before dusk and didn't see another living soul except when we went into the old Ten Bells pub which at the time was named the Jack The Ripper.
I read it too. I was totally fascinated by it. I think she makes a really good case for Walter Sickert.
There's some very powerful evidence pointing to him; mostly the letters. Of course that doesn't prove anything, he could be innocent of the murders and only the authors of some of the letters, but still....
Also given his genital, umm, deformities, it also builds a case from a physiological standpoint.
But of course we'll never know for sure.