Who do you think Jack the Ripper was?

Jan 2017
1,308
Durham
There a plenty of reasons to think the Ripper was a local.
* As you note, serial killers tend to start off close to home.
* Both times that he was interrupted, the Ripper did not just "move on quickly and walk down the street", he was not even seen walking away. That might be mere luck, but it is more likely the Ripper was very familiar with the area.
^ After he was interrupted in the mutilation of Stride, the Ripper knew the areas well enough to reach the Mitre Square in time to kill Eddowes.
* Part of Eddowes' apron was found in Ghoulston Street, which was still in the area.
* The killer took organs from Chapman, Eddowes, and Kelly. Being caught with these 'trophies' would be even harder to explain than bloodstains, so odds are the Ripper didn't have to travel very far before reaching his lodging.
* Chapman was killed within an hour of sunrise, probably within half an hour, so the killer had to live close enough to get home before sunrise.
Point 1: as I stated, this is the only thing that sways the verdict towards him being local.

Point 2: we don't know what he did, and how quickly he moved, except it was a good 20 minutes after the murders before the police organised a search. So, unless he thought it was a good idea to hang around doing cart wheels around the murder site, he would have been long gone. And, of course he was seen walking away, he simply wasn't connected to the murder. The East End wasn't a warren of hidden doors within hidden alleys where people could avoid the general populace. He had to walk down streets just as he would today.

Point 3: he's walking away from the murder scene, so when he drops the apron it has to be in some area directly leading away from the murder scene.

Point 4: 'odds are that no one is going to ask a bloke walking down the street for a look at what he has in his coat. I've walked miles and no one has ever come up to me and asked to see what I have under my coat. I'd imagine it's the case with about 100% of the world's population. So, it's fair to say he had nothing to worry about on that score and he could quite easily feel comfortable walking a long way in that situation.

Point 5: walking 'round in those days with blood on your person is not what it is now. It was part and parcel of day to day life then.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,764
Point 2: we don't know what he did, and how quickly he moved, except it was a good 20 minutes after the murders before the police organised a search. So, unless he thought it was a good idea to hang around doing cart wheels around the murder site, he would have been long gone. And, of course he was seen walking away, he simply wasn't connected to the murder. The East End wasn't a warren of hidden doors within hidden alleys where people could avoid the general populace. He had to walk down streets just as he would today.
When the police began a search is irrelevant. We know that the killer was interrupted after killing Polly Nichols and Elizabeth Stride. That gives the killer a few seconds from the time he heard other people approach to get away or hide. Nichols body was still warm, yet neither Charles Cross nor Robert Paul saw or heard the killer. Stride's body was still warm, yet neither Louis Diemschutz nor the others he summoned from the International Working Men's Educational Club saw anything. That could have been luck on the killer's part, but it is more likely to be due to his familiarity with the area. Whitechapel was not full of broadly lit boulevards, it had plenty of narrow passageways and hidden corners.

"I passed through Mitre-square at 1.30 on the Sunday morning. I had my lantern alight and on - fixed to my belt. According to my usual practice, I looked at the different passages and corners." - PC Edward Watkin at the Eddowes Inquest.

Point 3: he's walking away from the murder scene, so when he drops the apron it has to be in some area directly leading away from the murder scene.
You have missed my point. Of course the killer was moving away from the site where he killed Eddowes. The question is whether the killer was moving away from the area, which would imply he was not a local or moving deeper into the area, which would imply a local. Eddowes was killed at Mitre Square, which was the farthest south and farthest west place that the Ripper killed any of his victims. Goulston Street was north and east of Mitre Square - the killer was not heading away from Whitechapel, he was heading back into the middle of it.

Point 4: 'odds are that no one is going to ask a bloke walking down the street for a look at what he has in his coat. I've walked miles and no one has ever come up to me and asked to see what I have under my coat. I'd imagine it's the case with about 100% of the world's population. So, it's fair to say he had nothing to worry about on that score and he could quite easily feel comfortable walking a long way in that situation.

Point 5: walking 'round in those days with blood on your person is not what it is now. It was part and parcel of day to day life then.
It was part and parcel of the life if one was a butcher or some such, but even then, they wore aprons during their work to reduce the stains to their clothing. Well before the the murder of Mary Keely, people were being stopped and questioned for less suspicious behavior than having blood on their clothing. Wandering around by daylight with obviously bloodstained clothing would have been an act of complete folly on the Ripper's part, since there would be a lot more people about to see him and he would be much easier to identify. Chapman was killed within an hour of sunrise, probably within half an hour, so unless the Ripper was a very lucky fool, he lived no more than 20 minutes walk from Hanbury Street so he could be indoors before sunrise.