The name describes the pseudonymous murderer of at least seven women, all of them prostitutes, in or near the poor district of Whitechapel in London from August 7 to November 10, 1888. The identity of Jack the Ripper has never been truly established, though many candidates have been put forward by eminent writers, criminologists and cranks. Many novelised versions have been written and published. Many film stories have been made and distributed – some with notable success.
All but one of the Ripper’s victims were killed while ‘on business’ in the streets. The police and the judicial authorities call this ‘soliciting’, or ‘soliciting for immoral purposes’. In each instance, the victim’s throat was cut, and the body mutilated in such a way that officials recognised that the murderer had a good knowledge of human anatomy.