There are many theories out there when it comes to unmasking the infamous Jack the Ripper. Everyone, from celebrated mediums to renowned criminal profilers, and even avant-garde psychologists, has shared their two pennies’ worth with the world.

But whilst we’re all still debating who Jack the Ripper really was, why don’t we take a moment to review what we know, and reconsider his motives.

So read on for more ideas, theories and musings as to the purpose and meaning of these horrendous crimes. It’s a great way to whet your appetite ready for one of our informative and intriguing Jack the Ripper walks.

Method behind the motive?

All five of the Ripper’s canonical victims suffered similar wounds, which inflicted post-mortem. The preferred cause of death was always a clean and quick cut to the throat, but the horrific mutilations that followed give more of an insight into his methodology, and his possible motives.

The wounds robbed the women of their most womanly qualities. Firstly, there was the brutalisation or removal of their feminine markers and facial features, such as the tips of their noses, their eyelids, earlobes and slashed cheeks.

Similarly, almost all of the women suffered trauma to their chest, abdomen and reproductive organs. The removal of the uterus from several victims, along with the attacks on their most delicate and private areas tells a story all of its own.

But was this specific kind of mutilation a punishment for the women’s professional abuse of their body? Or reprimand for shirking the responsibilities of motherhood, and therefore being deemed “undeserving” of both the right and capacity to reproduce? Perhaps it was simply the ultimate form of intrusion and power the Ripper could experience.

Whatever the case may be, Jack the Ripper’s methodical mutilations took away each victim’s symbolic womanhood, whilst the “scratching out” of their fairest and most feminine assets (facial features, breasts, etc.) ensured their valuable femininity was taken from them in death.

And the Ripper…

Of course, as interesting as it is to look at the symbolism of the Ripper’s work, and the meaning and motive behind it, there’s also something fascinating in speculating about the Ripper himself.

What did such disdain for women suggest? There are various arguments; was he once a child abandoned by his mother? A jilted lover, an unstable widower, a jealous lover? Perhaps he was a transgender-wannabe or a rival prostitute. Whatever he was, he was smart, silent and violent; a combination that proved to be most deadly.

And if you want to hear more about the Ripper, his victims, and what the world has derived from his clues, be sure to book yourself onto one of our walks.