Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper in 1888 began a series
of brutal murders, mostly of prostitutes,
in Whitechapel in the East End of
Though not the world's first serial killer,
Jack the Ripper was the first to gain
notoriety by appearing in a large city
where his activities were chronicled by
an active press.
The Ripper strangled his victims until
they were unconscious, then slit their
throats and mutilated them. He killed
between four and eight women.
Given the way he removed organs,
many have assumed that he'd had
surgical training. Because fingerprinting
and other forms of forensic science
hadn't been developed, the Ripper was
The fact that the real Jack the Ripper
comitted his horrific crimes at the same
time that the fictional crimefighter
Sherlock Holmes was solving crimes
with his friend Dr. Watson has not
been lost on popular culture.
The 1965 movie A Study in Terror as
well as 1979's Murder by Decree pits
Holmes and Watson against Jack the
Ripper, as does the X-box game
Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper
of two years ago. (Warning, it does
contain gory scenes).