The true identity of the Victorian serial killer dubbed “Jack the Ripper” has been debated by academics and amateurs since the start of his murder streak in 1888, and the killer’s at-large status and grisly M.O. have spawned hundreds of pop culture interpretations and fictions ever since.
As of now, over 100 potential “Jack the Ripper” suspects have been named, though some cases are far more compelling than others. Authors Christer Holmgren and Edward Stow have ventured their own guess as to the mystery, speculating that the Ripper was one Charles Cross, a cart driver who discovered the body of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols and who lived within walking distance of the other four victims.
For those unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of the Ripper case, Cross was the one who found the body of Nichols on August 31, 1888 and was seen crouching over the body by an eye-witness. He later told police that he had found the body while walking to Broad Street at 3 am and was absolved of suspicion. The authors believe that, rather than a harmless witness, Cross was the killer himself.
An interesting link: All of the murders took place between his home in Doveton Street in Bethnal Green and his work at Broad Street at times when he would have been walking to work.
“We think it Charles Cross, the first person who found that first body. He was seen crouching over Polly Nichols and he wast trying to cover up some of the wounds,” said Mr. Stow. “The police at the time were looking for some sort of special individual. But most crimes turn out to be someone quite ordinary. He walked past every single murder scene on his way to work. He is the best suspect so far.”
For a more complete discussion, jog over to the Telegraph. Just make sure you come back here to let us know who your favored Jack the Ripper suspect is!