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< Back to question Who was Jack the Ripper? Show more Show less

Jack the Ripper was one of the most notorious serial killers in history. In 1888, the Ripper was suspected of brutally killing at least five women in and around the Whitechapel district in the East End of London. The Ripper killings were the focus of an intensive police investigation and garnered enormous attention from the public and media, but the case went unsolved, and the identity of the Ripper remains a subject of widespread debate over a century later. So who was Jack the Ripper? Was he one of the contemporaneous suspects, or one revealed by historical and scientific research? Was he even a man - or, for that matter, was he real at all?

Montague John Druitt Show more Show less

Druitt was a leading suspect in the Ripper case, and his suicide in 1888 coincided with the end of the Ripper's murders.
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The Ripper killings stopped after Druitt's death

The final Ripper murder took place on November 9, 1888, shortly before Druitt's death in December of that year.
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The Argument

One of the most mysterious aspects of the Jack the Ripper case is that the Ripper killings abruptly ended after November of 1888, even though the murderer was never identified or arrested. If the Ripper himself had died around that time, however, his death would explain why the murders ceased. In December of 1888, Montague John Druitt committed suicide. Druitt was rumored to have suffered from hereditary mental health issues, and he chose to end his own life following his dismissal from a school in Blackheath, where he had worked as an assistant schoolmaster. His decomposing body was recovered from the River Thames on December 31st. The timing of Druitt's suicide, shortly after the last Ripper murder, provides an answer one of the most pressing questions about Jack the Ripper: why he stopped killing.

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