Jack The Ripper.

The infamous serial killer that has become a mythological character in history simply because his true identity was never discovered.  Regardless of the fact that we will never have absolute 100% bonafide scientific evidence of who Jack was, it is always interesting to see the new list of suspects that arises often in the media.

Victorian media is what brought Jack his immortality as it were, as it is suspected that a clever journalist of the time penned the infamous ripper letter that gave him the catchy moniker “Jack The Ripper”, so naturally, it is media, that still keeps his murderous legacy alive.  This time it’s a declaration that Jack The Ripper, was actually Walter Parriott, a teenager who lived in London during the time frame the murders of all canonical 5 ripper victims occurred.


How you might ask did this prostitute hating teenager come to be suspect? His relative Steve Wilson from Sydney Australia is making the declaration.  At the time Scotland Yard struggled to discover who Jack The Ripper was, as they were clearly limited in resources and methods, in catching the killer.  However, on the night of the double murder of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddows, the police had a solid description of the killer as he was nearly caught red handed at the Stride murder scene by a passerby named Israel Schwartz. 

Schwartz’s description of the incident was as follows:

Schwartz told police that, shortly after midnight on September 30, he was walking down a street when he saw a man stop and speak to a woman who was standing in a gateway. Schwartz stated that the man then threw the woman to the ground. Schwartz crossed the street and began walking away when the attacker saw him. The attacker called out the name “Lipski” — apparently an Anti-Semitic insult related to Israel Lipski‘s murder of a woman the year before. Schwartz reported seeing a man smoking a pipe nearby at the time, and the other man started walking towards Schwartz, possibly following him. Schwartz ran away.

Shortly after the time Schwartz reported witnessing this incident, the body of Elizabeth Stride was found in the same location. That same day Schwartz identified Stride’s body as that of the woman he had seen attacked and gave testimony to the police about what he had seen.[1] He was able to give descriptions of both men but was unable to say whether they knew each other or had been working together.

From Wikipedia


There is a good chance that Schwartz did indeed see the real killer, but was that killer Walter Parriott? At the time there were several suspects that few may know about unless they read deeply into the case. Aaron Kosminski was suspected to be Jack The Ripper and there was a lot of very convincing circumstantial evidence to back that up. However, Steve Wilson has some circumstantial evidence of his own to put forth.

Wilson claims, as per the Courier Mail, that Parriott, his great grandfather not only had a pathological hatred for prostitutes but that he escaped from London to Australia shortly after the murder of Mary Kelly. Where Parriott was specifically during the murders we will never know, but it’s interesting to note that he would also serve time in jail for manslaughter as a much older man.

One of Wilsons points of evidence that gave me initial hesitation is that his great grandfather often posed as a doctor.  This is based on the idea of the time that the killer would have had to possess medical knowledge in order to remove the organs so effectively from each of his victims. However, that declaration is up for debate, as “second opinions” as the murders progressed, declared that the individual could have been a butcher or had little anatomical knowledge at all.

One of the most interesting pieces of evidence in Wilsons theory is an old cheque that he had of his great grandfathers.  This evidence ties into the “Dear Boss Letter” that was received by The Central News Agency of London. Wilson claims that the cheque written in Parriot’s hand writing matches that of the Dear Boss Letter and there is a big problem with that.

The only letter that is considered to be officially from the actual killer is not the “Dear Boss Letter”, or any other letter signed “Jack The Ripper.  These letters were likely a publicity stunt by the newspapers to sell more print.  There is a letter that sits in the Black Museum in London that is known as the “From Hell Letter” and that’s the one that is commonly accepted to be that of the murderer.


From hell.

Mr Lusk,
I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer
Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk

From Wikipedia



Left is the “Dear Boss Letter”  Right is the “From Hell Letter”


There are several reasons why this letter is most likely to be the real killers, one of them being that it accompanied a piece of the kidney the killer claims to be from his victim. I won’t get into specific criminal profiling on Jack The Ripper, but the FBI modern day profiling and geographical profiling of the killer all suggests that he wasn’t well educated, didn’t work a regular job, was between the ages of 26 and 38, and definitely  lived in the area and knew it well.  This rules out a teenage murderer and makes the “From Hell Letter” more likely to be the scrawl of the ripper than the “Dear Boss Letter”.

In short, there are so many suspects added to the list of possibilities in the attempt to discover the true identity of Jack The Ripper.  I bet it becomes quite humorous to read all the “evidence” which is at best all speculation and circumstantial.   So our deranged teenager definitely doesn’t have my vote, but please feel free to leave your theories in the comments.


There is so much evidence and information out there on the Jack The Ripper Case that can’t be included in this article for time’s sake. If you’re interested I suggest you check out some of the references below.


References & Further Reading:

The Complete History Of Jack The Ripper – Philip Sugden