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Published: 23-12-2019

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Who was Jack the Ripper: Could it be James Kenneth Stephen?

James Kenneth Stephen was an English poet. He was born in 1859, in London, to James (a barrister) and Mary Stephen. He died in 1892 at the age of 32, confined in a mental hospital. He has also been put forth in the final century as a suspect for the Whitechapel murders, committed by the killer (or killers) identified as Jack The Ripper. This is a heavily debated subject.

Between April 3rd, 1888 and February 13th, 1891, eleven females (mostly prostitutes) were murdered in the Whitechapel district of London.. At least 5 of them were killed by Jack the Ripper, and the remaining six have been attributed to him but not verified (although the likelihood is that Jack’s body count is just the original five). Numerous suspects have been place forth in the century given that the murders, but no a single has been conclusively pinned as the murderer. Suspects variety from poor dock workers to princes in line for the British throne. James Stephen is just 1 man in the discussion.

In reality, there is quite small chance that James Stephen was Jack the Ripper. His “links” to the case (if they can even be referred to as that) are extremely iffy and reliant on his connections with other people suspected to be Jack the Ripper. There are numerous suspects who can be appropriately linked to the case, like Aaron Kosminski, Walter Sickert, Karl Feigenbaum, and Montague Druitt – Stephen is not genuinely one of them. Initially put forth as a suspect by author Michael Harrison in 1972, Stephen’s hyperlinks to the case are extremely weak and don’t hold significantly credibility. His connection to the case comes from Prince Albert Victor, who Stephen tutored, became friends with, and at some point became somewhat obsessed with, to the point that he refused to consume following hearing of the former’s death and died of starvation. It has even been recommended that they were in a secret relationship, but this has never been proven. For what it’s worth, both Stephen and Albert had several public enjoy affairs or crushes with ladies. Albert has been touted as a achievable suspect, but government records show that he couldn’t have committed any of the murders as he was not in London on any of the dates involved in the case – and even if he could have been, Jack’s methodology suggests a expertise of Whitechapel (a very poor district in London) that somebody of Prince Albert’s social status would not have had. Albert was in locations like Scotland, Sandringham, and Yorkshire although the murders had been committed, but in no way London. Stephen himself, then, is searching less and significantly less likely as the man detectives had been looking for. At six feet tall, he towered more than any of the guys spotted by witnesses, all of whom have been in the 5’5-5’8 variety. Other “evidence” cited by Harrison is Stephen’s misogyny demonstrated in specific poems, (despite the fact that it can be argued that his statements, such as those on the perceived inconsistency amongst the quantity of issues triggered by ladies and guys, are satirical and ought to not be taken seriously) and his mental instability possibly brought on by a head injury in his mid-20s, which of course can’t be taken as proof. It ought to be noted that Stephen was not known to be violent, particularly murderously so. Furthermore, he was not recognized to have been in the region at the time of any of the murders, even though of course this doesn’t necessarily mean he was not Jack the Ripper. As a professor at Cambridge (which is sixty miles away from London), he would have had to have been in two distinct locations at once to be in a position to commit murder in London and return to Cambridge to teach the next morning – sixty miles in a evening is not doable without having a auto, specifically with the less nicely-maintained roads of the nineteenth century. Usually, it is agreed upon by specialists that the murderer was a nearby to Whitechapel.

A letter addressed to George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee (a group of men who patrolled the area in an effort to cease the killings), supposedly written by Jack himself, suggests that Jack could not create or use a pen quite effectively, which would not apply to Stephen. The dates of the killings (weekends and holidays) suggest that Jack had a standard job which would not apply to Stephen either. Overall, Jack’s literacy (or lack of) in letters, his information of anatomy (demonstrated by his dealing with organs in the attacks), and the dates of his killings suggest to me that he could have been an uneducated butcher or one more comparable occupation that lived in the poor Whitechapel area, far removed from an upper-class poet who lived a long way north.

To be fair to Stephen’s accusers, he can not be totally ruled out as a suspect by the dates of the murders – he was committed to a mental hospital in November 1891 and died there a handful of months later following starving himself to death. The last murder investigators are certain was committed by Jack was committed in November 1888, and the final murder that has been suspected to have been committed by Jack was committed in February 1891. In 1896 he was struck by a single of the blades of a windmill although on vacation at Felixstowe on the eastern coast of England.. Even though there have been no significant effects right away noticed, anecdotes from people who knew and dealt with him afterward recommend he sometime became belligerent, strange, and normally very different to his usual behavior. He became prone to sudden outbursts and bizarre actions, though he was never identified to stoop down to murder. He suffered from bipolar disorder and it might have been aggravated by his injury. He has also been called a misogynist due to some questionable poems. Even though I agree with the sentiment that he was a sarcastic individual and these poems are mainly in jest, he has some poems with suspect lines such as ones that describe his indifference to the murder of an annoying woman. Michael Harrison recommended that that Stephen was acting out one of his poems, “Air: Kaphoozelum”, exactly where ten women are murdered (even though Harrison did not effectively reality verify and named a lady who was not even murdered). Generally, though, the likelihood is that Jack’s victims are restricted to the very first five girls, and with every single victim added afterward, it becomes more of a stretch.

Graffiti positioned close to 1 of the crime scenes with anti-Semitic sentiments suggests a connection to Freemasonry, but there is no proof that Stephen was a Freemason and he had not been known to express any anti-Semitism. Connections to a leather apron wearing criminal active about the time of the murders have been established, which of course could be connected to Freemasonry (which has received confusingly different accusations of anti-Semitism and a enormous Jewish conspiracy), but because the apron was leather it is far more probably that it was not white like has been suggested. A leather apron could have been owned by a butcher, or an artist like Walter Sickert. Although Stephen surely did and believed some questionable issues, no single one particular is actually a good, conclusive hyperlink him to the murders. Michael Harrison’s accusations by no means really made sense and have unfortunately been given credence by lots of “Ripperologists” in the years considering that he initially recommended Stephen’s component in the murders.

In short, there is no actual aspect of Stephen’s life that appropriately connects him to the Whitechapel murders, let alone paints him as a suspect to be seriously regarded as. It seems as if elements of his life

such as his mental instability are forcibly linked to Jack the Ripper in an try to justify suspecting him, rather than to support a strong accusation against him employing actual proof and logic. Other suspects have even been retroactively linked with DNA and other serious proof, but the only basis supporting accusations at Stephen is his association with yet another suspect who can be very easily cleared making use of government records. There is just not actually any proof to recommend he was even in the region as Jack took hold of the city There are rumors of a coverup involving the prince and a local shop worker but these have mostly been discredited. Mainly, accusations against Stephen are based on the thought of him getting a secret partnership with the prince, which concluded, sending him additional off the deep end. Concepts surrounding his behavior and opinions are shaky at ideal and obviously can not be utilised as proof. Although mental illness plagued his family (his cousin Virginia Woolf’s descent to suicide getting 1 heavily documented instance), it goes without saying that most of the world’s mentally ill are not murderers. Right after researching Stephen’s life and Jack the Ripper, I can say with self-confidence that he was not the killer. There is no real appropriate support of the case against him, specifically when compared to other a lot more reasonable suspects. A excellent mind, it is unfortunate that his legacy is tarnished by the circumstances of his death and accusations of murder in the years afterward. His poetry was really intriguing, despite it having been written over a hundred years prior to I study it for the duration of my analysis – and given the nature of his personality, the accusations of misogyny in his poetry mostly come off as missed sarcasm to me. There are several far better suspects to be regarded as who can in fact have reasonable circumstances produced against them.
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