Debate and speculate.
This is the case with the mystery that surrounds the Jack the Ripper saga. After a lot of debate which has led to a few substantial theories and not much else, we now resort only to speculation to make sense of the whole thing. We point to the limitations in technology, the poor detective methods at that time and the missed opportunities, all of which played a part in the killer remaining elusive.
After more than a century, we can say two things with certainty. Whoever Jack the Ripper was, he or she is now deceased and two; we may never be able to figure out who the real Ripper was. All we can do is speculate to our heart’s content as to who the Ripper could have been. How did he manage to remain elusive for all these years and why after more than a century, is the case still not solved. In today’s JTR post, we will highlight some of the reasons why the real Ripper may never be found.
Too Many Suspects
The killing spree went on for a while. During this time, many people were rounded up by the police who happened to be in the area at the time of the crime. This led to a huge list of suspects who were interrogated and questioned but never arrested due to a lack of evidence. One encouraging lead did come in the form of Aaron Kosminski, but it required a written testimony by an eyewitness and he declined based on religious beliefs. The actual list had over 20 suspects, all of them circumstantial making it harder to narrow down the selection.
Too Many Theories
There was certainly no shortage of theories surrounding the Jack the Ripper Saga. Some of them were quite bizarre. They ranged from borderline factual to borderline ridiculous. According to one theory, the real Ripper was a famous Painter. According to another, he was a butcher. One theory disputes the gender of the killer, arguing that the killer may have been a woman when the police was focusing on a male suspect. This might be the reason the killer remained elusive. And then there were the rumours of a Royal connection. This theory even made its way into a Hollywood movie. It argued that the real Ripper was a member of the Royal family who had developed a terminal disease and was killing out of vengeance and fury.
Poor Mistakes In the Field
The entire case is riddled with discrepancies and mistakes at both the crime scene and following the incident. A crucial piece of evidence, chalk written graffiti, possibly by the killer, was erased. In addition, witness accounts frequently differ, and the logs are not fully complete. Crime scene investigators today say they would have approached everything differently and this would have ensured fewer mistakes.
Bottom line is that we will never know with 100% certainty who the real Ripper was. Every few months, there is an article in the paper where someone is claiming to have solved the Ripper case. A bold claim but nothing conclusive ever comes forward. The mystery surrounding the Ripper murders only grows with each passing year. What little we do know about the Ripper, we read about it online, in the newspaper or on guided Jack the Ripper tours; see here for more details.