JACK THE RIPPER
..but who was he?
For such a disorganised killer, Jack the Ripper was horribly successful.
In just three months he butchered five women, cutting their throats and hacking and stabbing their bodies in a frenzy.
Then the most notorious murderer in history vanished - never to be arrested or identified.
Modern forensic analysis suggests the Ripper was fortunate not to be caught red-handed.
He struck in public taking the risk of being seen even as police and vigilantes patrolled London's East End.
But more than 120 years after he bathed Whitechapel's cobbles in blood, the man in the peaked cap remains unmasked.
Dozens of suspects - from princes to butchers - have been put forward. But there is still no proof any of them was the Ripper.
Though unable to identify him, the police in 1888 knew they were hunting an extraordinarily disturbed man. Dr Edward Bond, who examined the final victim, Mary Kelly, wrote of the killer: "The character of mutilations indicate that the man may be in a condition sexually that may be called satyriasis. It is possible that the homicidal impulse may have developed from a revengeful or brooding condition of the mind, or that religious mania may have been the original disease."
It will never be known if the Ripper had "satyriasis" - permanent sexual arousal - but the nature of his mutilations were plain to see.
The five women, all prostitutes in their 40s, had their throats cut deeply from behind before a ferocious attack on their wombs and reproductive organs.
The first, Mary Ann Nichols, was a drunk trying to earn fourpence to get a bed on the Friday night of August 31. Her body was found on Bucks Row, known as Durward Street today, with four inch and eight inch gashes from her throat to the neckbone. The inquest recorded that the "lower part of the person was completely ripped open".
Annie Chapman was next to die as she too tried to earn money for a night's lodging.
The flower-seller was found on Hanbury Street at 6am on Saturday, September 8, her throat cut to the spine. Part of her intestine had been thrown over her right shoulder and her womb and bladder "entirely removed".
Three weeks later the killer struck twice in 45 minutes.
Elizabeth Stride's body was found in an alleyway on Berner Street shortly after she left the Bricklayer's Arms. Her body was not mutilated because the killer had been disturbed by a man leaving a political meeting.
Israel Schwartz later told police he saw a man assault Stride but he ignored the incident believing it was a domestic dispute.
Angry at being interrupted, the Ripper found an alternative victim in Catherine Eddowes.
The mother-of-four had walked out of Bishopsgate police station, where she had been in the cells for drunkeness, at the same time as Stride's body was found. A few minutes later, Constable Watkins found her in Mitre Square "ripped up like a pig in the market". Eddowes' face and chest had been mutilated, her intestines cut out and thrown over her shoulder, her womb and left kidney removed. The killer had sliced off the tip of her nose and earlobes and slashed her cheeks too.
Again, there was a witness. Cigarette-seller Joseph Lawende's description of a shabby man, aged around 30, with fair skin and a peaked cap was almost identical to Schwartz's.
Despite the breakthrough Scotland Yard found nothing. The lack of blood-stained clothing led detectives to suspect the Ripper was being concealed by the Polish and Jewish community.
As the public demanded a suspect, a letter addressed "Dear Boss" was sent to Central News Agency. It promised to "clip the ladys ears off" and caused a sensation because Eddowes' ears were slashed.
As speculation mounted, a hoax postcard from "Saucy Jack" warned of a "double event" which some linked to Eddowes and Stride.
For a while the killer laid low but the dreadful urges returned soon enough.
On Friday, November 9, the Ripper murdered Irish widow Mary Kelly in her room off Dorset Street. He had made terrible use of their time alone. The Ripper slashed her neck to the bone, front, back and sides, hacked at her face and cut off her breasts.
He then emptied Mary's abdomen and placed her womb and kidneys under her head. Police found her intestines and spleen on the floor and the skin and muscle which had been carved from her thighs on the table.
And then the frenzied attacks stopped as suddenly as they had started.
More women were murdered in Whitechapel and the cases added to the Ripper file up to 1891.
But police doubted it was the same man - none of the victims was hacked open and mutilated as the "canonical" five.
Did the Ripper die? Perhaps he emigrated or was committed to an asylum. The mystery has never been solved. Hundreds of books have been written, dozens of DVDs produced and there are guided tours and undelievably Jack the Ripper toys.
Even the policemen cashed in publishing memoirs. The most infuriating was Sir Robert Anderson, assistant commissioner for CID, who claimed to have solved the crime.
He wrote: "I am almost tempted to disclose the identity of the murderer... but no public benefit would result from such a course."
Prof Wilson says THIS is the start of what we call serial killing and yet there is a direct link between The Ripper's five victims and the women strangled by Steve Wright in Ipswich nearly 120 years later. Most went out to work at night knowing a killer was on the loose but had no choice.
Jack was incredibly lucky not to get caught because he was, in my opinion, mentally ill. It would only have been a matter of time before the police caught him. I believe the Ripper was local to Whitechapel because he probably was not capable of planning a journey and people within his community, probably his family, covered for him when police investigated the murders.
Crimes Punishment Name: Unknown
PERIOD: 1888 KNOWN
SUSPECTED TOTAL: 7
PROFILE: Sex/hatred of women
AGE AT TRIAL: Never caught
SENTENCE: Never caught
SUSPECTS (INCLUDING THE KING'S SON!)
Aaron Kosminski A POLISH Jew, aged 33, who suffered from "mania" "delusions" and "hallucinations".
He once threatened to kill his sister and was declared insane by his family in 1888 on grounds of "self-abuse".
Scotland Yard chief Sir Melville Macnaughton said Kosminski had a "great hatred of women."
AN American doctor who was gay, hated women, and was a notorious "quack". He was in London at the time and had an obsession with female reproductive organs. Tumblety fled to France in November 1888 following his arrest for homosexuality then returned to the US.
A LIVERPOOL cotton merchant who confessed in his diary. Historians questioned its authenticity and the publisher admitted forging it. Forensic analysis showed the inks used were not avail-able until the 1970s and the handwriting does not match his will.
HE was a Polish barber who later poisoned three wives and was hanged in 1903. He was known for his hatred of women and could well have been capable. But modern criminologists are doubtful about his guilt as serial killers rarely change a successful method of killing.
Prince Albert Victor
THE son of King Edward VII has been the subject of many conspiracy theories. In one, the Prince went mad after contracting syphilis from a prostitute. Others suggest he had an illegitimate daughter with a Catholic shopkeeper and Government agents killed those who knew.